NY Sports Dog: Bad Jerry Manuel Decision #75

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bad Jerry Manuel Decision #75


First off, congrats to Jerry for reaching this milestone so quickly.

Let's set up the situation:

Game tied in the 7th
Chad Durbin on in relief
Durbin gives up a line drive hit, then proceeds to walk David Wright on 5 pitches
Fernando Tatis up

So it's no outs in the 7th of a tie game, men on 1st and second, and a struggling reliever. Tatis up, Church on Deck, Santos in the hole.

What would you do? What did Jerry do?

Jerry gives up an out by sacrificing Tatis. The same Tatis that hasn't had a sacrifice in 7 years. He "avoids the double play" by doing this and gets Ryan Church up in a sac fly situation.

But wait, Charlie Manuel has been in the game a few years, so of course he walks Ryan Church.

Jerry just took the bat out of Tatis and Church's hands, gave up an out, and lost the strategic advantage.

Don't believe me? Let's look at the scoring probability table taken from data over a 3-year period:

Base/Out   0      1      2
Empty .293 .173 .077
1st .437 .283 .136
2nd .632 .406 .223
3rd .864 .662 .263
1st/2nd .641 .426 .231
1st/3rd .876 .655 .285
2nd/3rd .856 .695 .276
Loaded .872 .670 .325
With men on first and second and no outs, the scoring probability is .641. When you give up an out and bunt them over you improve the scoring probability to .695. So with a successful sacrifice you've improved your scoring chance by .054. Then, because of the subsequent walk to Church to load the bases, it's again reduced to .670.

All told, the bunt and intentional walk gave the Mets a .029 advantage.

So in that situation, you ask a guy who hasn't sacrificed in 7 years to bunt to give up and out and improve your scoring chances by a whopping .029. And that doesn't take into account the value of the out itself in the grand scheme of the game.

With only 9 outs remaining each is worth a minimum of .111 run potentials. So in essence you had a .641 already, and removed .111 for a net loss of .082....and that is assuming a successful sac bunt.

And remember, this is just the pure math--doesn't take into account who is pitching and who is hitting. Moreover, he took the bat out of veteran major league hitters hands to allow the Phillies to get to Omir Santos.

Now I like Santos a lot, but why lose your strategic advantage? At that point in the game there were 9 outs left, why give one of them up?

Why are we playing for one run in the 7th? In the 9th, of course, but the 7th?

The worst part of this is that Jerry has had the Mets sac bunt a ton all year--they are second in baseball to the Reds--for comparison the Mets have 36 Sac Bunts to 2 for the Red Sox and 22 for the Dodgers. The move has generally not worked; in fact, it's taken the Mets out of many rally's and shortened games for the opposition.

Yes, I realize the Mets play in the NL, but when you look at the Sac Bunts, you see 6 for Castillo, 4 for Cora, 3 for Murphy, 2 for Pagan, and one each for Schneider, Tatis and Church.

Position players have sac bunted 18 times of the Mets 36 total--half.

Again, the Red Sox have two (one each by Pedroia and Ellsbury).

An out is the most precious thing in baseball, you don't give one up in the 7th in that situation against a struggling reliever with a guy that can't bunt.

The logic is bad, the math is bad, and the Mets were a blown call by the ump away from having zero result there (he absolutely interfered with the catcher).

Serenity now.
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21 comments:

Mike D. said...

Have to agree. We've seen this way too many time from Jerry. He ignores probability and has the same patterns over and over.

If you look at the type of player he was, it tells you exactly why he's the type of manager he is.

Anonymous said...

I follow your math on how 2nd+3rd with one out only gives you a slightly better chance to score. But that assumes that the sacrifice works. If you factor in the chances that the sacrifice doesn't work (leaving you with say 1st and 2nd and 1 out), then it makes the bunt decision even worse. No reason a middle-of-the-order player should be bunting in the 7th.

Ceetar said...

I've been clamoring for them to can Manuel since he was hired. It's stuff like this. (And not playing Murphy, and his crazy other platoons and matchup obessessions)

I hate giving up outs. You know when else I hate it? That Wednesday afternoon game against the braves. I believe the lead-off guy got on, and he bunted him over. in the bottom of the 12th. You've got three precious outs and now you're giving them away.

I especially disagree with the Santana bunt Tuesday. 1st/2nd 1 out, to 2nd/3rd 2? You need a hit to score a run anyway. I'm glad Santana (supposedly against orders) took matters into his own hands, and swung. But then, If Santana became the player manager I feel we'd be a better team.

I still think/know the Mets are a better team, but Manuel is holding them back.

Anonymous said...

In one defense of the decision, Tatis had ground out twice in the game and he has been horrible of late.

zack said...

I don't agree at all. I'm not the biggest jerry fan either but I do think he makes his fair share of mistakes. Let's say jerry wouldn't have bunted and the mets still didn't score (if tatis church and santos all got out). Then you would be bashing him that he shouldve bunted to set up the sac fly situation so don't put this all on jerry. I think sometimes we can blame the players for just not coming through with a clutch hit. And btw last night was a perfect example of last years offense- one or two good innings in the beginning of the game in which they score runs, then the bats get no run production the rest of the night.

Anonymous said...

It is called National League Baseball. Plus the player has just as much right to get out of the batters box as the catch does. Good no call.

HbooGz said...

Great post, but just curious how you were able to get he following:

"With only 9 outs remaining each is worth a minimum of .111 run potentials"

Conroy said...

I hate bunting. Besides what you point out, the chart only takes into account the probability of scoring any runs at all in the inning. Once you factor in the number of probable runs that will be scored, it's weighted even more in favor of not sacrificing.

(It's also weird that the chart makes a 2nd and 3rd situation look better than than having the bases loaded, but only when there's exactly one out.)

Anonymous said...

"(It's also weird that the chart makes a 2nd and 3rd situation look better than than having the bases loaded, but only when there's exactly one out.)"

2nd/3rd reduces the chance of hitting into the double play by a lot. Your scoring chance is higher with 1 out because you have less of a chance of wiping away the run on third by ending the inning on a DP.

Anonymous said...

typical mets fans site. how soon we mets fans forget how awful it was between 2001-2005 when this team was laden with over the hill talent, an empty shea stadium and no hope at all. This is a good time to be a mets fan. What has become of us as a fan base? there used to be hope, expectation and support.. Now there is cynicism, negativity, prejudice, and nit picking. We can no longer put down yankee fan. We may now be as bad as yankee fan. And the remarks about Daniel Murphy show the further hypocrsy of this fan base. You hate older players, but you are not willing to let younger players fight through the inevitable growing pains of playing major league ball... You gripe about the manager(s), the new stadium, the owners, etc...please, can we grow up??

I am ashamed of what the mets fan base has become

Anonymous said...

So this is the mets fan base? Angry White people who resent a black manager, an hispanic GM, desire Jose Reyes to pack and leave town and Make Sterotypical remarks about its' Jewish owner and his family??

Please grow up..This team deserves a better fan base than this

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you guys long for the good old days of over the hill players rather than Good solid ballplayers who stay out of trouble off the field..

The days of mets fans being discerning, good and supportive are over. You have whiny, bigoted crybabies who know nothing about baseball

HbooGz said...

You can't ignore the fact that tatis hasn't bunted in a major league game in 7 years....7 years. You're giving up an out in the late innings, at home in a tie game with runners on 1st and 2nd and 0 outs. Manuel had to have known that Church was going to get walked and you're then relaying on a inexperienced Santos and a cold PH off the bench. Statistics aside, it was a very very bad baseball decision purely based on the preceding sequence of events.

Of course there are expectations, hope and support but a bad decision is a bad decision. You need to be reminded that in NY, blind commitment to a sports franchise does come with it's consequences.

Christopher said...

i agree with you about not having tatis bunt because he hasn't sacrificed in 7 years, however, it should have paid of even after they intentionally walked church to load the bases because santos has come up with more big hits than anyone on this team. i was shocked he didn't come through. i think against the sf giants he had i believe 2 or 3 sacrifice flies in 1 game.

Adam said...

Are you guys serious? Did you not see what Tatis had done in his previous at bats when he was ahead in the count. Ground balls!! That at bat was a double play waiting to happen. I'm glad Jerry put the bunt on. Yes, it put the game in the 8th hitters hands, but bottomline Santos should have come through.

Anonymous said...

Can't win. Willie Randolph didn't bunt the runners over in the ninth inning of Game 7 v. the Cardinals in 2006, and has been criticized ever since. I thought the bunt was the right play in that situation, but I couldn't understand why he didn't pinch hit a lefty - - Murphy would have been the right guy - - for Santos. Or he could have put up Murphy for Tatis there and tried to get something going. All in all, that loss can't be pinned on the manager. Too many position players didn't get the job done.

Dave Singer said...

Good thoughts all (except the racism stuff? where did THAT come from?)

I'm approaching this strictly from a numbers piint of view....the math doesn't work in the vast majority of sac bunt situations that Jerry has put in place....we can aruge that all day...it's good discussion.

I'll again reiterate that his sac bunts (we are second in the league) are not based on math, but rather on Jerry's feelings....he happens to be wrong the majority of the time IMO.

18 of 36 sac bunts have come from position players....we are second in baseball in sac bunts...we had no outs, two on, good hitters coming up, and we gave away our advantage.

fox said...

I have to disagree. While the numbers back you're opinion up,the fact of the matter is the game was tied. In the NL in the 7th in a tie game, you play for the one run. Just because Tatis isn't a career 'sac' guy, does not mean that its not something Manuel knows he is capable of doing. Tatis is glacial and would have killed us with a ground ball, as well as take the air out of the stadium.

Dylan said...

Just throwing this out there, but Bobby Valentine's contract in Japan hasn't been renewed. How about the Met's demote Manuel back to a bench coach and hire Valentine? He's adored by the fans in Japan and maybe he might have some success this time with a few more years under his belt and a better, younger team.

louderlouder said...

I gotta tell you, as bad as that one was, it was nothing compared to bringing in Parnell instead of Takahashi.

suffolkbeatthestreak said...

lol, i was just about to say. "Bad Jerry Manuel Decision #76

Keep it coming JerrY!

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