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Baseball Strategy Question -- Burnitz bunt on Sunday: Smart?

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Postby Chuckles » Tue Jul 26, 2005 11:59 am

I agree that it's a bit much to have a long ball hitter bunt the guys over, unless it is done in a matter of surprise. If the other team isn't expecting it and JB can get a single out of it or a bad throw error. Otherwise, I'd rather see them bat and see ARam get a shot at batting. Otherwise I like the strategy. Burnitz and Ramirez are just nice options to swing away, that's all. ;-D
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Postby Fool42 » Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:17 pm

The other thing to consider is that if Burnitz hits into a DP you still have runner on third with two outs and Ramirez up. If you bunt Burnitz and Ramirez gets IBB which he did then a DP by Barrett would've ended the inning
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Postby nuggets » Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:40 pm

I watched the game. Burnitz wasn't swinging well that day and the pitcher, Al Reyes, has been doing very well lately especially vs. left handed batters (go ahead, check it out). Burnitz has also grounded into 9 double plays this year already. He has a lifetime .236 BA and .739 OPS at Busch Stadium and is batting .150 with a .527 OPS for 2005 there. Burnitz is also batting .312 and .944 OPS with bases empty, only .250 and .720 OPS with runners on and .237 and .753 OPS with RISP. Bunting in that situation sounds like a pretty damn good idea to me. People totally misread Dusty and don't have a clue on how good a manager he is.

Anyway, the proof is in the pudding and the Cubs win, Cubs win! CUBS WIN!
Last edited by nuggets on Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby nuggets » Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:42 pm

stevethumb wrote:i don't like it especially w/ a LH hitter up who can hit a long flyball to right to move the guy over or at least he has a big 3-4 hole w/the 1Bman holding the runner on..let him put the ball in play..AND hey i would rather have aramis up w/runners on 1st and 2nd than mbarrett up w/the bases loaded


That's exactly what Joe Morgan said :-?
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Postby Fool42 » Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:45 pm

[quote="nuggets"]I watched the game. Burnitz wasn't swinging well that day and the pitcher, Al Reyes, has been doing very well lately especially vs. left handed batters (go ahead, check it out). Burnitz has also grounded into 9 double plays this year already, has a lifetime .236 BA and .739 OPS at Busch Stadium and is batting .150 with a .527 OPS for 2005 at Busch. Burnitz is also batting .312 and .944 OPS with bases empty, only .250 and .720 OPS with runners on and .237 and .753 OPS with RISP. Bunting in that situation sounds like a pretty damn good idea to me. People totally misread Dusty and don't have a clue on how good a manager he is.

[color=green]Anyway, the proof is in the pudding and the Cubs win, Cubs win! CUBS WIN![/quote][/color]

Managers can make bad decisions and still win games. ex...Jim Tracy.

Dusty Baker is a terrible manager that has no idea what to do with a pitching staff.
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Postby ActionHero » Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:45 pm

So when I was watching the game on Sunday night, I was yelling at Dusty Baker through the TV. Obviously he didn't hear me, although I'm sure my neighbors did. After I looked at the data, it actually seems like a more reasonable strategy than I had originally thought. However, I still stand by my initial thought which is that it was not the right move.

Here's data which comes from Project Scoresheet data 1984-1994:

outs runners expected prob > 0 count total runs shutout
0 12- 1.50 0.636 21978 32895 7994
1 -23 1.40 0.686 14152 19800 4443

In other words, with no outs and runners on first and second, 1.5 runs are expected to score, and there's a 63.6% chance of at least one run scoring, whereas after a successful bunt, the run expectation goes down to 1.4, while the chance of at least one run scoring goes up to 68.6%.

So even though statistically, the changes of scoring a run actually go up if you bunt the runner to 3rd, these statistics are taken out of context. If the 6th and 7th place hitters are on 1st and 2nd, and you have the 8th place hitter & pitcher up, the play is to bunt the runners over and pinch-hit for the pitcher (who'll probably get walked).

However, when you have your power hitters up, especially when one of them (Aramis) is arguably the hottest hitter in baseball, you absolutely cannot take the bats out of their hands.

It all worked out in the end, but I was wondering how the other Cafe members felt about Dusty's move. It's interesting to see the variety of opinions here. Perhaps this should've been a poll...
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Postby nuggets » Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:47 pm

Fool42 wrote:Dusty Baker is a terrible manager that has no idea what to do with a pitching staff.


Good thing you brought up pitching in this situation :-?

Anyway, without the benefit of hindsight, what would you have done with young studs and no pen over the last few years?

It's the Cubs front office that is to blame, not Dusty.
Last edited by nuggets on Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby nuggets » Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:52 pm

ActionHero wrote:So when I was watching the game on Sunday night, I was yelling at Dusty Baker through the TV. Obviously he didn't hear me, although I'm sure my neighbors did. After I looked at the data, it actually seems like a more reasonable strategy than I had originally thought. However, I still stand by my initial thought which is that it was not the right move.

Here's data which comes from Project Scoresheet data 1984-1994:

outs runners expected prob > 0 count total runs shutout
0 12- 1.50 0.636 21978 32895 7994
1 -23 1.40 0.686 14152 19800 4443

In other words, with no outs and runners on first and second, 1.5 runs are expected to score, and there's a 63.6% chance of at least one run scoring, whereas after a successful bunt, the run expectation goes down to 1.4, while the chance of at least one run scoring goes up to 68.6%.

So even though statistically, the changes of scoring a run actually go up if you bunt the runner to 3rd, these statistics are taken out of context. If the 6th and 7th place hitters are on 1st and 2nd, and you have the 8th place hitter & pitcher up, the play is to bunt the runners over and pinch-hit for the pitcher (who'll probably get walked).

However, when you have your power hitters up, especially when one of them (Aramis) is arguably the hottest hitter in baseball, you absolutely cannot take the bats out of their hands.

It all worked out in the end, but I was wondering how the other Cafe members felt about Dusty's move. It's interesting to see the variety of opinions here. Perhaps this should've been a poll...


Those probabilities %s are too close to mean anything to me other than you have about the same chance either way you go.

Tony was going to walk Aramis either way, so take him out of the equation.

Is it impossible for Dusty to escape unfair criticism even when he makes the right move???
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Postby Fool42 » Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:53 pm

Cubs fans are used to losing. I'd send the guys out there for 6 and bring in whoever I had. In no way would I have overworked the young ones. He has had guys in the pen that have performed well in other places but he always seems to leave a struggling RP in an inn too long.
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Postby nuggets » Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:59 pm

This is a good threadto read for Dusty discussion.
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