Bunt to Win, August ’13 Edition #smrtbaseball #bunttowin

In July, there were a total of 153 non-pitcher, non-squeeze sacrifice bunts (~35/wk). This is the highest total of the year to date, and it makes us sad.

– 8 had a WPA/RE24 > 0 (6 were due to fielding errors, 2 were FC), 145 had a WPA/RE24 <= 0
That means that ~95% of those sacrifice bunts HURT the team, or did nothing to help the team win while giving up an out.
– 22 (14%) were in the first 3 innings of the game (37 in inn. 4-6). That's low, relatively speaking.
– 54 (35%) were by the batter in the 1st or 2nd spot in the batting order.
– 88 (58%) were 1– –/0 ; 5 were 1– –/1 (*)
– 28 (18%) came with the bunting team behind (7) or ahead (21) by 2 or more runs. Ahead by 2 or more runs. 21 times. STOP BUNTING.
– 4 (~3%) came via pinch-hitter. 1 was by a pitcher in the 13th inning, which I guess we can look past. But 3 times a manager said "You, get a bat, go give an out away." Amazing.

(*) – The 5 1- -/1 bunts were more likely bunt for hit attempts, but we and the Play Index aren’t perfect.

Notes:

– If your defense of a sac bunt includes the point “But the defense might make an error!”, you’re right. If a 3.9% chance is a big part of your defense of the decision, you’re probably in the wrong.
– The Pirates led the month with 11, the Tigers followed with 9. 
– 3 teams had just 2 sac bunt attempt all month (Tampa Bay, the Phillies, and the Rockies).
– #smrtbaseball #bunttowin favorites Bruce Bochy and Dusty Baker called for 4 and 6 saccys, "respectfully".

SMRT-est bunt of the week: 8/9, Minnesota at White Sox. Alejandro de Aza, 2-3 (B10) | 1– –/0. -.22 RE24. There were 3 other sac bunts of -.22 RE24, but this wins out for being in the highest leverage situation.