Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Never Suicide Squeeze!

I wrote the following on May 11th of this year. If only Mike Scioscia was a more avid blog reader, the Angels might be alive.

The Suicide Squeeze falls into the category of "exciting but shitty." Like Juan Pierre.

For the squeeze to work there has to be fewer than two out, so you're sacrificing an out, and there is no guaranty that the squeeze will even work, or that the guy will get the bunt down. But the worst part is that figuring out that the squeeze sucks doesn't even require much in the way of math.

A runner on third with one out has roughly a 70% chance of scoring on the next at bat. This is because he will score on hits, soft grounders, fly balls, most balls in play to the right side, wild pitches, and errors. There are a ton of ways to score from third with one out.

But even if the runner does not score, you still have about a 35%-40% chance of scoring that run on the next hitter. (Probably no more than a 30% chance on the next hitter, but then you have to add in the chance of a walk X the chance of the following player getting a hit, etc.).

All in all, my back of the envelope math puts you at like an 80%+ chance of getting that guy home through conventional means.

The worst part of the squeeze? If the guy misses the bunt (or misses a sign) you no longer have a runner on third. It kills your entire potential. And it happens all the time.

If you don't put a ball in play while swinging away (or bunting for a hit for that matter) you still have a guy on third.

The squeeze is far too risky to be valuable. It should be cast to baseball's graveyard.


Anonymous said...

Goshdarnit Mike Scioscia is a maverick, and mavericks don't conform to strategies recommended by monday morning quarterbacks. To summarize, i'm scared for the children of this great country because sabermawhatchamacallits pal around with terrorists.

E.S.K. said...

I think Scioscia was actually hoping a sacrifice bunt would change the outcome of the game. He's a hoper and a changer.

If you don't like the suicide squeeze you are a racist.