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Friday, April 8, 2016

Three Yankees reject bunt single in 9th down two runs.

It's so common that we hardly take notice but it's so fundamentally objectionable that attention must be paid.

OPS 1.000 bunting against the shift? Saturday, May 24, 2014

Let me emphasize again that I am advocating bunting against the shift, not bunting against a traditional alignment of fielders.  I am suggesting that even slow runners can bat at least .500 bunting against the shift.  That's an OPS of 1.000.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 1:05 pm, Yankee Stadium III
Attendance: 47,820, Time of Game: 3:17
Astros 5, Yankees 3

Bottom of the 9th, Yankees Batting, Behind 3-5, Astros' Luke Gregerson facing 4-5-6
Luke Gregerson replaces Ken Giles pitching
b93-50---4,(2-1) ONYYM. TeixeiraL. Gregerson4%97%Groundout: SS-1B
b93-51---3,(0-2) ONYYC. BeltranL. Gregerson2%99%Strikeout Swinging
b93-52---3,(1-1) ONYYB. McCannL. Gregerson1%100%Groundout: 1B-P
Luke Gregerson is a righty pitcher.

Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran are switch hitters batting lefty and Brian McCann is a lefty batter. The Astros played the extreme shift against all three, confident that none would have the basic common sense to take what was being given: a single. The Astros were also not concerned that Yankee manager Joe Girardi would order any of these batters to bunt.

Trailing by two runs none could even tie the game with a homer until one had reached base. The chances that two would homer were about 1 in 20 times 1 in 20: 1 in 400. Chances of one bunting into an empty area for a single are 1 in 2; that times chances of a home run would be 1 in 40. Taking the bunt single and hoping for a homer would be about ten times better than hoping for two homers using rough probabilities.

With all the analytics floating around, wouldn't the Yankee decision makers know this? Shouldn't the players understand it without analytics? What the heck?

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