You know, Justin Maxwell actually had two failed squeezes last season that were pretty terrible. Perhaps he’s no Escobar, but maybe if Escobar is the Justin Verlander of failed bunts, then Maxwell is the Clayton Kershaw?
Comment by Bryan Grosnick — November 9, 2012 @ 1:47 pm
Curious where the NLDS Washington at St L game 1 sacrifice by Danny Espinosa rated. IIRC, runners at 3d (Morse) and 1st (Desmond), down one run, no outs, Morse holds, Desmond advances, Espinosa out on the sacrifice. Eventually, the nats plate two with a 2 out pinch hit. Play was a mystery at the time because it did not look like a safety squeeze. Johnson maintains he called it, but there was speculation at the time that Espinosa did it on his own after a very frustrating, multiple strikeout game.
Comment by Clint Hurdle — November 9, 2012 @ 3:47 pm
Again, I think a more interesting question than ‘what bunts had the worst results?’ is ‘what bunts were the worst choices given the situation, regardless of the result?’. Is a bunt that was a good choice, but gets unfortunately turned into a double play rally a bad bunt?
Comment by McAnderson — November 9, 2012 @ 4:33 pm
I’ve listened to that thing hundreds of times and it’s hysterical every time. Be aware of the circumstances, though: it was prepared on the road as a joke for a recording engineer or someone back in Baltimore, which is why Earl’s way, way over the top. No one ever expected it to go public… but thank goodness it did!
On 4/24, RS v MN, the score after 1 was already 3-1. Aviles came up with a guy on 2nd and no out, and sacrificed. Under normal conditions, not a horrible play.
But Blackburn was already pitching badly with 5 hits in the first inning and a leadoff double in the 2nd. And Aviles owns Blackburn with 7-13 with a triple and 3 doubles. And Aviles was hitting well at the time.
I mean, if this threatened to be a 2-1 game, or if it was the 7th inning, or Aviles was 0-8 against Blackburn, but there did not seem to be even a single reason for bunting there.
A.J. Ellis in the second to last game of the season thinks that his bunt was the worst of the season (his first two strikes were bunt attempts). It was -.118 WPA, but with 1 on, nobody out, one of the best Dodger hitters at the plate, and Abreu, Gordon, and Mark Ellis coming up after, what kind of rationale did it take to decide that Ellis should be bunting?
There’s a reason that Mattingly has the nickname Donny Buntball.