Wow, these are really piling up now.
Situation: 8th inning, Mets up 5-3, David Wright draws a leadoff walk against a young pitcher, Jeremy Reed up, Wilson Valdez on deck.
What would you do?
What did Jerry Manuel do?
He elected to bunt with Reed, who bunted back to the pitcher, who turned and threw to second to force David Wright.
OK, wait a minute here.
Jerry Manuel had Jeremy Reed bunt to get Wilson Valdez up?
Jeremy Reed is batting .291 and is a career .258 hitter with a .681 OPS...he had two hits on the night...Reed also has a little pop, with 84 extra-base hits in 1,112 career at-bats. He's not great, but amazing when compared to Wilson Valdez.
For his career, Wilson Valdez has a .213 batting average and a .257 OBP with the worst slugging percentage in history--.278...that is not a typo. He has a lifetime OPS of .535 and a total of 13 extra base hits in 263 career at-bats.
All of the statistical studies in the world tell you that you don't bunt the man over after a leadoff walk....that the odds of him scoring decrease dramatically with one out, even if he makes it to second.
Every man alive knows you don't bunt a semi-productive hitter to get to Wilson Valdez. Everyone except Jerry "Goin' with my Gut" Manuel, who falls in love with every scrap heap guy he finds.
So after the promising start to the inning, Jerry bunts, the sacrifice fails, and the Mets went out quietly with nothing to show for DW's leadoff effort.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
by Dave Singer