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Squeeze Bunt Success Rate


RobDeer 45

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The TV crew was quoting some success rates a few months ago but I found them to be unrealistically high (like it had only failed 1 time or something like that). I guess it depends on how you define a failure. I don't think they were counting every situation.

 

Every team knows that it's tough to stop. Everyone (but apparently RR) also knows that you have to have an extremely high success rate to justify doing it in the first place, though.

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I really love how aggressive RR is with the squeeze/sac bunt to move the runners.

Posted: July 10, 2014, 12:30 AM

PrinceFielderx1 Said:

If the Brewers don't win the division I should be banned. However, they will.

 

Last visited: September 03, 2014, 7:10 PM

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Everyone (but apparently RR) also knows that you have to have an extremely high success rate to justify doing it in the first place, though.

 

Considering our run production the past two seasons I don't know how Ron can be doing so badly at maximizing run production. Frankly I'm not sure it's completely measurable. How do you measure the effect it has on a defense that the squeeze is a real threat? How does that effect the way the defense aligns itself or how much the pitcher has to think about while pitching? Also have to wonder how much better a team gets by doing that they can do it when only one run is needed? Those are not as easily measured as comparing the scoring rate between using and not using the squeeze.

There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.
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Everyone (but apparently RR) also knows that you have to have an extremely high success rate to justify doing it in the first place, though.

 

Considering our run production the past two seasons I don't know how Ron can be doing so badly at maximizing run production.

 

Because despite RR's sub-optimal strategies (IMO), he's been lucky enough to manage for a team with good hitters. Even a bad manager isn't generally going to cost his team 50+ runs/year. I don't mean to suggest I think the squeeze attempts have cost the Brewers 20+ runs.

 

And I also agree that considering all the variables associated with suicide squeezes is difficult. I've tried to consider the main variables with some back-of-the-envelope calculations though and it doesn't look good.

 

"I really love how aggressive RR is with the squeeze/sac bunt to move the runners."

 

Do you mean you love the entertainment associated with aggressive base running?

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Because despite RR's sub-optimal strategies (IMO), he's been lucky enough to manage for a team with good hitters. Even a bad manager isn't generally going to cost his team 50+ runs/year. I don't mean to suggest I think the squeeze attempts have cost the Brewers 20+ runs.

 

He is no more lucky than Macha was. In fact given McGehee's decline last season I'd argue he had a worse offense to work with last season. This is not meant to be scientific by any means. But we do have two years each of about as extreme a difference in management styles as you can get with essentially the same players. I do think the comparison is helpful when pure stats don't tell the whole picture.

Macha's approach averaged 767.5 runs per season over his two years here. If we extrapolate this season's current average over the whole season Ron will have averaged 747 per season. That is the 20 runs you spoke of. But I think you would agree last season's drop off was due more to McGehee falling off a cliff than Ron's management of the run game. This season the team is pretty close to Macha's years here. Frankly I don't think there is much difference between the two styles as far as overall run production. I know stats suggest a leaning toward not running produces more runs but also I think there is value to knowing how to manufacture runs when it comes to winning more games. You can't learn how to do that if you're not doing it. I think it can have an impact, either positive or negative, depending on when you let them do it just to learn how to do it. That, to me, is where we can debate Ron's effectiveness of employing it.

There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.
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Because despite RR's sub-optimal strategies (IMO), he's been lucky enough to manage for a team with good hitters. Even a bad manager isn't generally going to cost his team 50+ runs/year. I don't mean to suggest I think the squeeze attempts have cost the Brewers 20+ runs.

 

He is no more lucky than Macha was. In fact given McGehee's decline last season I'd argue he had a worse offense to work with last season. This is not meant to be scientific by any means. But we do have two years each of about as extreme a difference in management styles as you can get with essentially the same players. I do think the comparison is helpful when pure stats don't tell the whole picture.

Macha's approach averaged 767.5 runs per season over his two years here. If we extrapolate this season's current average over the whole season Ron will have averaged 747 per season. That is the 20 runs you spoke of. But I think you would agree last season's drop off was due more to McGehee falling off a cliff than Ron's management of the run game. This season the team is pretty close to Macha's years here. Frankly I don't think there is much difference between the two styles as far as overall run production. I know stats suggest a leaning toward not running produces more runs but also I think there is value to knowing how to manufacture runs when it comes to winning more games. You can't learn how to do that if you're not doing it. I think it can have an impact, either positive or negative, depending on when you let them do it just to learn how to do it. That, to me, is where we can debate Ron's effectiveness of employing it.

 

Ron was the one who it took till September to realize that Casey wasn't going to figure it out last year. That's more damning than his love of bunting and getting runners thrown out on the bases.

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Ron was the one who it took till September to realize that Casey wasn't going to figure it out last year. That's more damning than his love of bunting and getting runners thrown out on the bases.

 

Lets not turn this into a Ron Bashing session. We are specifically talking about his use of the squeeze play and the overall value of such plays. Please keep it that way.

There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.
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Ya, I guess you can't just look at it as when the bunt gets down, the outcome of the run scoring. I'm guessing that's what they are measuring. It also should include at bats where the batter attempts at some point, it doesn't work, and then that player later strikes out. Not quite sure what all situations should be included in the calculation.

 

I like it with weak batters up, with an average to weak batter on deck.

 

I feel like it's a play it safe type move when you break it down. I mean, shouldn't you look at the success rate (either outcome of everyone is safe, or a run scores and the batter is out) compared to the batter and on deck batter's avg with runners in scoring position? If the probability of the bunt working is greater than the batter's avg, wouldn't the smart move be to bunt? I'm just thinking out loud here, I know you have to account for giving away an out and what that does to the rest of the inning.

 

I guess I'm risk adverse and I'd rather take 1 run (in a lot of situations) than chance getting 0 or more than 1.....

 

Another thing to look at, if there is a runner on 1st and one out, is the batter a higher threat to ground in to a double play (ground ball hitters, slow runners, etc).

 

And yes, let's not turn this in to RRR bashing, it's more about strategy of the play. I think there is a lot to think about and I'm sure I'm only scratching the surface.

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Not nearly as high as BA and Rock would lead you to believe.

 

 

Then "lead me to believe," what it actually is?

 

Seems to me it's been pretty high and he's not doing it with the middle of the order.

 

Plus, as a previous poster alluded to when he questioned the impact sac bunts/squeeze plays puts pressure on the defense as seen in last nights game in which a sac bunt in a 1-0 game at home broke the game wide open.

 

The fact is I don't think any manager is ever going to be very popular in Milwaukee by hardcore fans...or any manager for that matter. People have made their clever monikers for every manager we've had the last several years starting with Yost and bashed them pretty relentlessly, and even after a guy like Morgan comes out and talks about most of the time him bunting in the 2 hole to move a guy over is his choice and not a called play, it falls on def ears and RR is bashed for bunting with your number 2 hitter.

 

We won 96 last year, lost the 2nd biggest FA on the market this year and then the top pitcher on the market, and yet despite that, he's got us playing as well as anyone in the game, and 5 games out of the WC race. And likely a game or two out of the race at worse if Ax and K-Rod where even 90 pct of what they where last year.

Icbj86c-"I'm not that enamored with Aaron Donald either."
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2000- 2011 there were 355 bunts with either 3rd or 2nd and 3d occupied and 1 out. 84 times the runner on third scored and there were no outs recorded. 193 times the runner on third scored and 1 out was recorded. There were 25 double plays, on one of which a run also scored. There were 49 plays where no one scored and 1 out was recorded and 5 plays where no one scored and no out was recorded.

 

In addition, there were 53 missed bunts where the runner was caught stealing, 5 missed bunts where the runner was safe at home, and 34 missed bunts where the runners did not advance. Obviously not all the bunt attempts were suicide squeeze plays.

 

(source)

 

So I think the 34 missed bunts where the runners did not advance were foul bunt strikeouts. They probably werent squeeze plays since you dont usually try it with 2 strikes. Also not counting the 5 plays where no one scored and no out was recorded since they must not have been squeeze plays, that gives 84+193 "success" plays and 25+49+53 "fail" plays out of 355+53=408 plays.

 

277/408 = 68% success

127/408 = 32% fail with 6% of those resulting in 2 outs.

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That was nice grunt work topper. Given that data, I would tend to favor a lot of bunts in these situations as opposed to looking for a hit? MLB average .27%???? I'd rather have 68% odds of having a successful at bat than 27% for a hit, (assuming the hit leaves the infield) Again, all things relative we are assuming we are only playing for a single run, which to me is just fine.

 

What I find troubling is the contact play in which the runners are thrown out at the plate on a routine ground ball. But absent being privy to the conversations on the field or in the dugout, I can't lend blame to the runner, 3rd base coach, or manager.

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A deep fly ball or an error would also result in a run scoring. If the infield is back, a ground ball has a high chance of scoring a run. If the infield is in, the rate of hits increases. And a hit increases the odds of later runs.

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That was nice grunt work topper. Given that data, I would tend to favor a lot of bunts in these situations as opposed to looking for a hit? MLB average .27%???? I'd rather have 68% odds of having a successful at bat than 27% for a hit, (assuming the hit leaves the infield) Again, all things relative we are assuming we are only playing for a single run, which to me is just fine.

 

If that 68% success rate is close to being correct, I believe that makes the suicide squeeze an unattractive option. I'm sure there is still a time and a place for it, as with most strategies. I just thing RR attempts one much too often. The odds of success are very much dependent on whether the defenders are ready for one and obviously, the Brewers have lost that advantage (opponents are positioning for the bunt attempt now). The good thing is that RR can now leverage that fact into greater odds of a base hit. I hope he does just that.

 

You can't just look at the odds of a base hit there. There are many other things that can occur (sac fly, walk hit, hbp, etc...). A better way to start looking at it is in terms of run frequency and expectancy for a given base/out situation. This data is old and I don't have time to get into it but here is something to ponder:

 

http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902.html

 

http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902score.html

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What I find troubling is the contact play in which the runners are thrown out at the plate on a routine ground ball. But absent being privy to the conversations on the field or in the dugout, I can't lend blame to the runner, 3rd base coach, or manager.

 

I've been beating the drum in favor of the contact play for awhile. I don't know if I've convinced anybody around here, but I'm pretty sure it's a good play, even by rigorous SABR standards. I find it kind of ironic, because this is the one instance on this forum where emotion wins out over the numbers, yet I think it's one of the clearer situations where the numbers say it's a pretty good play. The fact of the matter is that it only has to work about 1/20 times in order for it to be a successful strategy. That's almost never, but for some reason everybody just hates to make an out at the plate as opposed to an out at first base.

 

Everybody hates outs on the basepaths, but when you exchange an out at one base for an out at a different base the run differential is fairly small.

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The fact of the matter is that it only has to work about 1/20 times in order for it to be a successful strategy.

 

Can you explain how you came to that conclusion? Base/out situation, assumptions, etc...

 

I had a fairly lengthy discussion/description of the odds a few weeks ago at the end of the "Impressions of Roenicke" thread-

 

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=28627&start=520

 

There was another discussion in an in-game thread earlier this year. In summary, I always like the play when there are two guys on base. The run differential between having a players on 1st and 3rd instead of 2nd and 3rd OR 1st and 2nd instead of 1st and 3rd is miniscule. Just look at the run matrix table rluz just posted a couple of posts up. The run differential in those situations varies from .05 to .1 runs, but that is not taking into account the benefits of the contact play working (i.e. NO outs being recorded because you forced the throw home) as in that situation you gain A LOT by scoring a run AND saving an out. Meanwhile, if it doesn't work, the situation is almost exactly the same as if you never put the play on in the first place.

 

There are A LOT of good things that can happen when you put the contact play on, with the downside being extremely small when it doesn't work.

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The difference between one out and no outs is about a run going from one situation to another. So theoretically you cost yourself about a run every time it doesn't work. Of course a lot of things can happen. You have to play for what is probable not what is possible.

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The difference between one out and no outs is about a run going from one situation to another. So theoretically you cost yourself about a run every time it doesn't work. Of course a lot of things can happen. You have to play for what is probable not what is possible.

 

?? An out is going to be recorded either way. Actually, an out will be recorded significantly LESS when you make the defense throw the ball home and make an awkward catch and tag on the runner rather than just toss it over to the easy, routine, force play at first.

 

People react to the contact play as if it costs the team outs. It doesn't. It saves outs and scores runs when it works, and merely exchanges the position of the baserunners when it doesn't work. If it is executed properly, it actually shouldn't even cost the team baserunning positions! If the runner from 3rd is out by 10 ft+, he should get caught in a run down and allow the other 2 baserunners to get to second and third. Actually, when there are runners on 1st and 3rd, you have the contact play on and get caught in a rundown, you can IMPROVE your baserunning positions because guys should be able to get to 2nd and 3rd while you are dancing between 3rd and home. Now you have guys on 2nd and 3rd rather than first and third, and all from a hard hit ground ball that could have been a double play ball to end the inning!

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Logan's referring to an out vs. not having an out. You're costing yourself a run by making an out. Obviously, a base hit would be a better outcome. There isn't a great difference between a failed contact play and another kind of out.

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Logan's referring to an out vs. not having an out. You're costing yourself a run by making an out. Obviously, a base hit would be a better outcome. There isn't a great difference between a failed contact play and another kind of out.

 

The exact opposite is actually happening though. Fewer outs will be recorded by having the contact play on than by not having the contact play on. It's easier to throw to first for the force out than it is to throw home for the tag/rundown.

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If the runner from 3rd is out by 10 ft+, he should get caught in a run down and allow the other 2 baserunners to get to second and third. Actually, when there are runners on 1st and 3rd, you have the contact play on and get caught in a rundown, you can IMPROVE your baserunning positions because guys should be able to get to 2nd and 3rd while you are dancing between 3rd and home.

 

I've never seen this happen. No hitter has ever ended up at 2nd base after the contact play.

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Logan's referring to an out vs. not having an out. You're costing yourself a run by making an out. Obviously, a base hit would be a better outcome. There isn't a great difference between a failed contact play and another kind of out.

 

The exact opposite is actually happening though. Fewer outs will be recorded by having the contact play on than by not having the contact play on. It's easier to throw to first for the force out than it is to throw home for the tag/rundown.

 

I think you are assuming everyone is blinded by their aversion to making an out at home when in reality, the confusion is regarding how you are framing the question. I asked you to provide the assumed base/out situations. You came back with the run difference between to base situations. The part that you appear to be ignoring in your analysis is the part that I don't like about the contact play. A contact play forces a batter to swing at a pitch that he otherwise may not have. That obviously negatively impacts the odds of that swing resulting in good contact and hence, a non-out. That must be considered in any analysis of the contact play.

 

Am I misunderstanding something?

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A contact play forces a batter to swing at a pitch that he otherwise may not have. That obviously negatively impacts the odds of that swing resulting in good contact and hence, a non-out. That must be considered in any analysis of the contact play.

 

Am I misunderstanding something?

 

Huh? How is a batter swinging at different pitches? It is not a hit and run. The contact play only means that the runner on 3rd takes off once he knows it is a groundball.

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