Should have tried for the sacrifice squeeze with Fletcher at the plate

He’s a good binter and they usually don’t play him up close… Especially since they were a double play depth…That would’ve been the play and kept them out of the double play…

Well, a sac fly would’ve tied it up, too. UK hasn’t been sharp in the field. I didn’t really expect them to turn the DP. Besides, Fletch could have given us a lead with a long ball. I can see the thought of a squeeze, but I’m not about to second guess DVH on something like that.

Bunting is the ONLY realistic option here, for several reasons.

  1. You have a speedy runner on 3rd with Martin who could beat out most throws to the plate.
  2. Bunting gets the runner at first over to second as the go ahead run in scoring position with Kjerstad coming up, something a sacrifice fly would not do.
  3. As we found out, it takes away the double play option, the only real killer in that situation, even worse than a strikeout.

The odds HEAVILY favor bunting there, then taking our chances if we end up tied with Thompson off the hill.

This one’s on Dave, something I say VERY infrequently.

It’s possible to bunt into a double play too, remember.
I love these armchair coaches second guessing a guy who won his 1000th game this afternoon. :roll_eyes:

It’s people like you, Swine, who make people like me give up their memberships to sites like these.

Why? You say a bunt is the only option when a coach the caliber of DVH didn’t think so. If you’d just said you disagreed with the call, it would’ve been more understandable, but it seems to me you’re taking a perfect opportunity to second guess with hindsight.

I’m sure DVH would say that he has made a lot of mistakes in many of the games getting to 1000 wins. It must not be easy being you.

I’m with Swine on this one. Good grief people

One option would have been to let Fletcher take the first pitch, send Goodheart & force them to try to throw him out & second a risk the runner coming from third, or to let him take the base & take away the DP.

But this might have been as simple as Fletcher swinging at a pitch he thought he could drive & simply missing it.

Seems I recall, it was Fletcher who lined one up the middle last year to take down USC in walk-off fashion. He was real close to getting this one up the middle too, and would have given us the lead.

well it’s not easy having your cleanup hitter who is hitting .325 to bunt b/c he usually gets th ball out of the infield and missing a bunt can get you in trouble too so there will always be room for speculation bur to be honest I will take my chances of him not hitting into a DP b/c he has been very clutch all yr and last yr too.

Fletcher was clutch in the previous game. As a coach, sometimes you go with your gut feeling. Though it looks easy to some, laying down a bunt is not automatic.

I’m a fan of analytics, and found this site interesting. According to their data, sacrifice bunting with a man on third with one out results in a net negative run rate (meaning you score fewer runs than you would by not bunting).

https://sports.stackexchange.com/questi … -good-play

And, the odds of hitting into a double play at the MLB level (where the defenders would presumably be the best at it) was only 12% according to this study from ‘97 - ‘06. So, 88% of the time it ends up in something other than a DP.

http://reconditebaseball.blogspot.com/2 … s.html?m=1

I’m a believer that you go for the win if you’re on the road, rather than play for the tie. Having Dominic swing away in that situation gives us the best chance to win after the bottom of the 7th.

Thank you, sir.

Read on down in the same story: (which I appreciate, BTW)

“My interpretation of this: if you need one run (either to tie or win) and is late in the game (9th, or maybe 8th), and have a competent bunter, it’s probably worth doing it (bunting)…”

And the data used was for third base occupied only. My point was that bunting would also accomplish moving the running at first into scoring position. AND it would greatly reduce the DP possibility. I firmly stand by my position, as does everyone else I’ve spoken to off this board.

Please also note that I implied how unusual it is that I disagree with DVH’s decisions, but this is definitely one of them. Also, this is NOT a knock on Fletcher at all; he’s been clutch all year and is one of my favorites.

Maybe I’m wrong (didn’t go back and check, just going off memory), but Fletcher hit fly balls into the outfield all day Sunday. Some of those were weak outs, some were barreled up… but he had been lifting the ball to the outfield all day. As he entered the batters box, I would have bet he would have tied the game with a sac fly.

The beauty of baseball (or not, depending on your perspective) is the multiple opportunities for second guessing everything that happens. In this case, I question the decision to swing at an off speed pitch on the first pitch of a new (and recently struggling) reliever, much more than question the decision not to bunt.

Thanks for that. If nothing else, at least this should change the criticisms of DVH’s decision from “I can’t believe he did that” to “I probably would’ve called something different, but he had good reasons to do it.” This is why we pay him as much as we do. It’s also why he’s one of the very best coaches in the college game.

the quoted analytics are not a universal agreement nor probably even consensus, DVH has his reasons in his heart which reason knows nothing of… All options were open and Fletcher found the only two good fielders left on the diamond for KY. One was substituted in because of his superior fielding. If you believed in Heston hitting then bunting was better, if you believed in Fletcher whacking the ball from a prior struggling pitcher then swing away. First pitch should have been expected to be grooved. Citing the analytics noted were overly selective and not acutally applicable to the matrix faciing the Hogs yesterday, so the over generalization fits the preferred hypothesis of the author. Analytics is full of variables. I do love me some Cynthia Frelund but she probably has no baseball in her computer to fit this situation.

I can see the validity of arguments for both sides of to bunt or not to bunt, only one person counts and he has won 1000 games based on his inclinations.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda, analogies… :lol: Easy to say bad call when it has already happened. :sunglasses:
We have 17 victories, 2 ahead in the West w 6 to play. Last year’s National runner up won 18 during the regular season and
won exactly ZERO road series in conference. One could easily argue this team is a year away.

I’d say celebration is in order.

A few things I want to say.

First off, I wish I had titled the OP of this thread “I wish we would have” instead of “Should have”. That’s just MY opinion, and I said it to my baseball buddy BEFORE Dom took the first pitch of his final AB. But i was on my phone and put the thought out quickly without thinking too much about the subject title.

Second - I did make a another quick follow-up post to myOP yesterday, but for some reason it’s been taken down (???). So, I’m going to say now what I already posted then - with maybe an added comment or two now that I’ve read some of the other replies.

As I said in that post, I’m a BIG DVH fan and - as I almost always do with ALL of our coaches - I defer to him and figure that he has information/knowledge that i do not have. His record shows that he doesn’t deserve much second guessing, and I rarely do. That said, as a FAN, sometimes we just can’t help but wonder “what if” - that’s what makes us fans, IMO. So long as we’re not always haranguing the coach, or have a negative, tiresome agenda (and we all know some do or have), then - fine, second-guess if you want to. If it’s reasonably thought out, i actually like the give an take of those sorts of conversations. Again - so long as they are not part of a bigger agenda.

As for SF labeling me an “armchair coach”, it’s not like (a) i do it that frequently to any of our coaches; or (b) that you never have hot sports opinions of your own, Jeff.

With regard to the metrics, some are confusing “expected runs” with the odds that we would score AT LEAST one run in the specific situation; they are not the same thing. Keep in mind that “expected runs” is really an average of all scoring that follows a specific situation in a given inning. So, for example, if you were to score 10 runs one time, and no runs 9 other times, the "expected runs’ for that sample of 10 times would be 1.0 (total of 10 runs divided by the sample size of 10). In other words, exactly the same as if exactly 1 run had been scored each of the 10 time - or, if 2 runs had been scored 5 times, and 0 runs the other 5.

Note, however, that in the 3 examples three examples given above, the percentage that you scored AT LEAST one run is 10% in the first example, 100% in the second, and 50% in the third.

When people not that average runs go slightly down if you bunt in that situation, they are saying that if you total up all the results - the times you failed to score, did score exactly one run, as well as the times you went on to score 2 or more runs - the average of those innings is slightly less than if you do the squeeze. But it not saying the odds of scoring exactly one run goes down. It does not - in fact, it slightly increases. And that was the point of my suggestion in the first place.

There is no doubt that, in general, giving up an out, whether to advance a runner or whatever, decreases your odds at a big inning and therefore reduces your ‘expected runs’ scored in that inning. But in this case, we were down ONE run with two outs remaining. Sure, you’d like to win it right there with more than one run. But at least one run is what you HAVE to have. Keep in mind that even if you do score 2 runs to go ahead, they still have an at bat in the bottom of the inning, so that doe not guarantee a win;. but NOT scoring DOES guarantee a loss.

In that situation (in general - I’m not saying it was the case with the specific personnel we had at the various stations Sunday in game 3; we don’t have statistics that would tell us that), I think trying the sac squeeze play on the first pitch may have given us a slightly better chance of scoring that one “stay alive” run than hitting away. For one thing, Fletcher seems to be a fairly good bunter. For another, they were playing at double play depth (not crowding the plate) for obvious reasons. Third, assuming they do make the play at the plate and cut down the runner previously at third, we’d still have runners on first and second with two out. Yes, it IS possible to get a double play out of a bunt (as we saw recently), but it is much, much lower in this specific situation (wish no force at home) than when hitting away.

Having said ALL of that, it may have worked and it may not have. And having Dom hit away might well have worked, but it did not. The percentages in either scenario are a lot closer than they are far apart. That’s baseball. That’s why sometimes you leave a lefty in against a lefty, when "the book’ says to go with a right-handed hitter. I was just venting a little “immediately after a close loss” frustration because I was really feeling a route we did not go, and I was disappointed because the way DVH did choose didn’t pan out. But I’m absolutely behind him, do NOT think it was a “Bad” call, and am NOT upset with him or anywhere close to saying he made a mistake. I do not think that.

Lost in all of the post game angst (by myself and others) is that we just had ANOTHER road series win in conference, and those are always to be celebrated, no matter who it is against.

And, as I’ve said for years now, I’m much more concerned about maintaining our probably position as a top 8 team than I am anything else at this time,and we’re still tracking toward that. A regular season title would be nice, but Vandy got the favorable schedule and will likely nose us out. it is what it is. But if we’re in Omaha again, few will remember that - just like last season.