August 22, 2004

Tangible. In today's SoSH game thread, a few of us were posting updates of the Angels-Yankees game. One Red Seat noted: "Earlier, the MFY radio announcers were talking about Jeter's sacrifice bunt to move a runner to 3rd. They made it sound like he just donated one of his kidneys or something." The inning in question (the 3rd) went like this:
Lofton (b) singled softly to right.
Williams (bbf) doubled to deep right, Lofton scored (Yankees 1-0).
Jeter (bf) sacrificed to pitcher, Williams to third.
Sheffield (fbs) doubled to left, Williams scored (Yankees 2-0).
Rodriguez (f) flied out to center.
Matsui (c) grounded out to first.
I wondered what the expected benefit for the Yankees from Jeter's "productive out" [sic] would be. It didn't take long before The Napkin posted the dope (2001 data):
Man on 2nd, 0 out = 1.138 expected runs
Man on 3rd, 1 out = 0.920 expected runs
So, far from deserving of praise, Jeter's bunt actually lessened the chance that the Yankees would score in the rest of the inning. And New York ultimately lost the game 4-3.

Finally, a Red Sox win tonight would be huge; cutting the Yankees' lead to 5½ games (the lowest since June 27) would definitely raise the decibel level in the Bronx front office.

No comments: