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The Reds got bunt-happy last night and it cost them dearly

Sep 5, 2013, 9:45 AM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

If the Reds fall a game short of the Cardinals and/or Pirates — or, heaven forbid, the Diamondbacks or Nationals — they might want to look at last night’s game against the Cardinals as the reason why. It was a night the Red squandered multiple opportunities thanks to ill-advised bunts.

The first weird attempt did no harm, but it was nonetheless head-scratching. In the bottom of the 14th inning the Reds were down by a run. The leadoff hitter reaches and Dusty Baker wisely inserts Billy Hamilton into the game as a pinch runner. The entire point of Billy Hamilton’s existence on a major league roster right now is to steal bases. But rather than have him steal, Baker puts on the bunt with Zack Cozart squaring. He didn’t get the bunt down and Hamilton stole on the next pitch anyway and then scored when Cozart, swinging away, singled.  Maybe that was just a missed sign by Cozart?

The second one came right afterward, with Cozart on first. Dusty Baker had Devan Mesoraco try to bunt him over. He bunted it back to the mound and Cozart was out at second.

The third one came in bottom of the 15th. Score tied and Shin-Soo Choo singles. The heart of the order is due up: Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. Baker has Phillips — who has 100 RBI on the year which we’re all told is supposed to mean something — bunt Choo over. Votto was then retired, but did advance Choo to third. The open first base allowed Mike Matheny to issue an intentional walk to Jay Bruce. Then:

For reasons known only to God, Chris Heisey tries to bunt. Two outs, runner on third, a flamethrower on the mound and Heisey is playing suicide squeeze. Choo is a dead duck when Heisey misses and a rundown ensues. After the game Dusty Baker made it clear that Heisey was freelancing there.

It was a dumb freelance, obviously, but I’m reminded of this:

Just substitute “bunts” for “drugs.” And ask yourself why Dusty and his players seem to love to bunt so darn much.

  1. baldyscotsman - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    I liked it……GO CARDS!!!

    But Seriously, the Redbirds are not playing the best ball right now and that was a gift by Reds. I hope they turn it around fast and start heating up…only a few weeks left until the postseason.

    • contraryguy - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      as a Reds fan, all I can say is that this game was my nightmare for what could happen if the Reds are in the WC play-in game. The bunts and baserunning are painful to watch, but really, it’s the bullpen that scares me. Pitching stays good until a 3rd or 4th reliever is needed, and then it all goes south… two HR to the same guy, in extras? Don’t you pitch around this guy the second time?

  2. Marty McKee - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    MLB.tv blacked out this game in Illinois, so I couldn’t watch. Maybe the video would answer this question, but…

    If Heisey was really bunting on his own, how would Choo know to start running? I know the official story is that Baker didn’t order a two-out suicide squeeze, but A) Dusty has ordered a *two-strike* suicide squeeze before (you can imagine how well that worked out) and B) it wouldn’t be the first time he has tossed one of his players under the bus.

    Regardless of whether Heisey was acting on orders or not, Dusty needs to go. I don’t think the Reds can win with him at the helm. Maybe he can’t be blamed for Votto having the worst game of his life (or maybe he can, considering how much he and the radio booth are always screaming at Votto to swing more), but there are plenty more reasons to dump Dusty.

  3. brums21 - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    I am embarrassed to be a Reds fan after this debacle. I blame Dusty

    • cur68 - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      It needs to be said.

      DANG you Dusty Baker! Dang you to HECK!

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 5, 2013 at 2:20 PM

        Col! There he is!

  4. paperlions - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    If Heisey was free lancing, then why was Choo breaking when he squared around? Otherwise, Choo shouldn’t be moving any further off the bag than normal, at LEAST until Heisey made contact, and Choo isn’t caught in a run down.

    The creation of ChooTBLAN made it all worth while though.

    • cofran2004 - Sep 5, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      choot wha…?

      • paperlions - Sep 5, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        It is a variation on TOOTBLAN:

        Thrown Out On The Bases Like A Nincompoop, which I believe was originally used to describe the common base running error of Ryan Theriot.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 5, 2013 at 8:39 PM

      Ok, I haven’t talked to you in DAYS. What’s the dill, pickle?

      • paperlions - Sep 6, 2013 at 7:27 AM

        Just been really busy, semester starting, fantasy football drafts, getting some of the things that have been sitting on my desk (literally and figuratively) off it….often, by the time I come to HBT to browse the stories, the conversation (if any) is knee deep in stupid or so far down the page, it is over….or the “conversation” is one we’ve had here before many times.

        Things are good…except for the Cardinals not being able to hit, field, or pitch….but in the grand scheme of things, those are just details.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 6, 2013 at 7:47 AM

        OK :(

  5. sleepyirv - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    If you read this headline outline in a Chicago bar, you would be interrupted by a cry in unison of “Baker!”

  6. rocketsteadman - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Thank you Craig, that is probably one of my favorite clips of all time!

  7. Liam - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    I was baffled at the 15th inning squeeze. I guess Choo saw the bunt and figured he had missed a sign and took off. I’ve never been so baffled by the decision making in a MLB game before.

    I must say though, the buzz when Hamilton pinch ran was awesome. The whole stadium started going nuts as soon as Ludwick singled and continued until Hamilton scored. twitter also exploded. I hope he learns how to hit well enough for the Billy Hamilton era to last a long time.

  8. Jonny 5 - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Communism running rampant!

  9. cincinata - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Of course a very exciting game. I think after all, the problem for the Cards doubles, if Craig does not heal fast. I don’t think Adams can take his place, two H-R’s notwithstanding. He had an opportunity to win it long before the long ball, but struck out with two on and a weak pitcher (Duke) who stuck him out without a strike being thrown. The birds will miss Craig who scares the hell out of pitchers with anyone on base. In any event, it was a very good game even with all of the mistakes by Dusty (who I called out for replacement two years ago), however I still feel that Atl, La and Pgh are all better teams than the Reds or Cards. Good luck today.

  10. jc4455 - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    The craziest part, and there were a bunch of terrible managerial decisions aside from the bunting, was “Votto was then retired.”

    Game tied, extra innings, right-hander on the mound, Phillips on second base, first base open, one out, Joey Votto up, Bruce and Heisey to follow. THEY PITCHED TO VOTTO. Why in the world do this? One run (Phillips) wins the game. You set up the DP and you face a lesser hitter in Bruce.

    • blues1988 - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      because votta was already 0/6 and 12 for his last 66 w/ a 182 avg and a 360 obp.

      • jm91rs - Sep 5, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Two ways to look at this. Votto is 0/6, how many times has a player of his caliber ever gone 0/7? Tough to play those odds, but looks like they got away with one there.

    • perryt200 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      Votto was the current weak link, so they went after him. He was having a terrible night.

      My big question is where were the fans? I don’t mean in the 16th, but the 4th. If that game had been in StL there would have been almost 20,000 more people in the seats.

      And there still would have been a bunch there in the 16th.

      • jm91rs - Sep 5, 2013 at 1:06 PM

        Cincy is not StL. Don’t try to compare it. I wish more people went to games here but the fact is they just don’t. The only factor that I can see that distinguishes Reds fans from some of the other large attendance places is that there’s an entire generation of people in Cincinnati that grew up watching lousy baseball (lousy sports in general). Other than the cubs I would guess most of the high attendance parks have had staggered success in the 90’s and 00’s. Basically every college age kid and even slightly older in Cincinnati had seen exactly one year of playoff baseball until 2010. I believe winning breeds popularity and the Reds were just too irrelevant for too long for 3 years of good baseball to turn it around quickly. Hopefully they’ll get back to it sometime.

      • cincinata - Sep 5, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        Maybe or maybe not more fans at the end of the game. The Reds do not have as big a draw locally, and need out of town fans from as far as West Va and Tn. The birds do not need that much support from out of towners. One more thing you need to know about Votto, is that he has had some problems for years now with depression issues. If you look closely at him, he seems to me to be over medicated. Maybe yes or not, but he looks terrible and very uncomfortable at the plate.

      • perryt200 - Sep 5, 2013 at 7:42 PM

        this link has attendance at the very bottom
        http://scores.nbcsports.msnbc.com/mlb/boxscore.asp?gamecode=330904117&final=true
        Attendance – 23,894

        for all three games against Cinci in StL, Aug 26-28 StL had over 35,000 each game
        http://scores.nbcsports.msnbc.com/mlb/teamstats.asp?team=24&type=schedule&month=8

        the Cubs draw better by far.

  11. grumpyoleman - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    RBI’s do matter, the more you get the better chance your team has of winning.

    • thomas844 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      Yeah, I don’t understand the hate towards RBIs by Craig. I’m not saying they define a hitter, but if a guy can drive in 100 runs in a season, I’ll take him in a heartbeat.

      • grumpyoleman - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:11 AM

        The thing is most of us know that most stats aren’t perfect. The constant harping on it has gotten old.

      • Marty McKee - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:17 AM

        The point you’re missing is that almost *any* decent player will drive in 100 runs hitting behind Choo and Votto. Phillips’ RBI total is mainly due to lineup construction, not actual talent.

        Hell, Tommy Herr drove in over 100 once. How do you think he did that without ever coming close again? He batted third behind Coleman (.320 OBP and 110 SB so he was always in scoring position) and McGee (.384 OBP).

      • thomas844 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:25 AM

        grumpyoleman, I agree, it is getting old. And Marty, you make a good point that Phillips gets probably more RBI chances than anyone in the league, but he still deserves credit for the fact that he has a .372/.469/.841 slash line with runners on base (as opposed to .251/.370/.621 with the bases empty), a .411/.493/.904 line with runners in scoring position, and he has 11 hits in 17 AB with the bases loaded.

        Phillips’ numbers are basically hurt by the fact that he doesn’t hit with nobody on, but when runners are on and the Reds need that big hit, he provides it. The 100 RBIs are a combination of Choo and Votto getting on base, but also Phillips coming through when he needs to.

    • js20011041 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      Well, yes, your statement is correct insofar as a team with a ton of RBIs has scored a ton of runs. The problem with RBIs is using them as an indicator of value for a player. Brandon Phillips has been below average offensively this year. He’s having one of the worst years of his career. The fact that he has a bunch of RBIs doesn’t change that. Literally, the only thing high RBI totals tell us about a player is that he’s had a lot of opportunities with runners on base. That’s it.

      • thomas844 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:27 AM

        His numbers are hurt because he is a terrible hitter with the bases empty this year. His numbers are ridiculous with runners on and with the bases loaded. His RBI count is more than having great table setters, it also has to do with the fact that he is one of the most clutch hitters in the league. I certainly wouldn’t call it the worst season of his career.

      • js20011041 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        Now you’re assuming that hitters have different abilities with runners on versus having the bases empty. There is not a single shred of evidence that supports that. The Brandon Phillips that walks into the batters box with runners on is the same exact hitter that walks into the batters box with the bases empty. Whatever difference there is in performance is due to random variance and sample size issues. Otherwise, we’d have to ask Phillips why he’s dogging it with the bases empty.

      • jm91rs - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        Brandon Phillips is absolutely a different hitter with runners on base. Should he be? No way. He should be up there trying to get on base regardless of the situation, but with runners on base he is different. It’s a mental thing, he’s obviously no different physically and his abilities are the same.

        You can all laugh at it and laugh at the word “clutch”, but if the player himself believes it then there’s something to it for that specific player. You’ll hear Brandon talk about “clutch” and driving runners in all the time. Stat people don’t have to like it (but don’t talk bad about it, because Brandon will call you fat), but the fact that his mental approach is different at different points is what creates the disparity in numbers. If he could figure out exactly why he bats better with runners on, and transfer that to every trip to the plate we’d be looking at a much better hitter. Sadly he can’t do that, so we get the “clutch” guy that can’t do much without runners on.

      • jm91rs - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:49 PM

        I guess my point is you don’t need physical evidence that we see 2 different Brandon Phillips at the plate, just freaking ask the guy and he’ll flat out tell you he’s different when there are guys on base. You can’t quantify a mental block like that, you just accept it or don’t accept it. It’s there regardless.

      • js20011041 - Sep 5, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        If Brandon Phillips has a true difference in ability between batting with runners on or bases empty, then he’s cheating his teammates. There is no such thing as clutch. This isn’t a video game, and a player doesn’t get a power up when he enters the batters box with runners in scoring position. If Philips truly is a different hitter with runners on base, then that difference in ability consists entirely of him lacking focus and giving away at bats with no one on.

      • jm91rs - Sep 5, 2013 at 1:12 PM

        Quit saying “if” and “it doesn’t exist”. The guy at the plate swings the bat differently when there are men on. He uses the word clutch in every interview. It does exist to him, and since he’s the one swinging the bat, it manifests itself for all to see. It’s not the first time, it won’t be the last time. Is there a reason some people in every sport play better in big games? It’s not quantifiable because it’s mental. Is Brandon cheating his teammates? Not as much as he’s cheating himself, but sure. Is there some medicine you can give him to make him realize that getting on base with no one else on is still important? Nope. As they say, it is what it is. That’s why he’ll never be Votto or Choo.

      • js20011041 - Sep 5, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        Brandon Phillips with career per Baseball Reference

        Runners on base: .281/.335/.432 .767 OPS .301 BABIP

        Bases Empty: .265/.309/.432 .741 OPS .284 BABIP

        Runners in scoring position: .285/.349.434 .783 OPS, .302 BABIP

        Late and Close: .263/.323/.398 .721 OPS, .299 BABIP

        Ahead or trailing by greater than 4 runs: .272/.321/.431 .762 OPS, .292 BABIP

        Brandon Phillips has a career difference of 26 points of OPS between runners on base and no runners on. He hits better when the game is out of hand .762 OPS, than he does late in a close ballgame, .721 OPS. If Brandon Phillips stopped giving a shit when the bases are empty, it began this year. Otherwise, he’s been the same player. Stop it with this clutch nonsense.

      • Steve A - Sep 5, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        To further bolster your point js, here are some more stats. Of players with at least 450 PAs, he has the second most PAs with runners on base at 53.9%. That is behind only Big Papi with 55.1%. He has had 441 runners on base during his PAs, which is also second, this time behind Prince Fielder. Lastly, he is 8th in terms of OBI% (others batted in %) at 19%. When you put those together, you are naturally going to end up with a higher than average RBI total.

      • jm91rs - Sep 5, 2013 at 4:51 PM

        Throw stats at me all you want. I’m not calling the guy clutch. The guy is calling himself clutch, in virtually every interview I’ve ever heard “i just like to come through in the clutch”, “I like being up there in the big situations”, “I love me them ribeye steaks just sitting on 2nd and 3rd”, “the debbies love them ribeyes”

        The guy is a solid MLB player. I don’t know anyone that thinks he’s as good as Joey Votto, or Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout. There’s only so many of those guys to go around. I don’t know why a guy that enjoys being the guy to drive the runs in gets so much crap from stat lovers. If there’s no such thing as clutch or situational hitting, then he is what he is, he can’t get better in the non-rbi situations because the situation doesn’t matter. We can see he’s having a down year with very basic numbers, and the fact that he thinks his year has been good because of RBI’s has absolutely zero impact on how he performs.

      • js20011041 - Sep 5, 2013 at 6:13 PM

        Well, my point is that I don’t care what he believes. He can believe that he’s clutch all he wants, but the numbers say that he’s pretty much the same exact player in key situations as he is any other time. The reason you see backlash against Phillips is because the mainstream media and most fans look at his hundred RBIs and call him a great player. This is all about accurately portraying him. He’s a good player who at his peak was a little above average offensively and pretty good defensively. But he’s had two below average years in a row now. He’s 32 years old and it would be unrealistic to expect a rebound in performance.

  12. dwrek5 - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Obviously not his real dad.

  13. thomas844 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    When the 3-4-5 hitters go a combined 0-20, I think there are much bigger problems with that game than a couple of botched bunts.

    • cincinata - Sep 5, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      844:
      This is a great point. Also, what I don’t agree with is that hitters are the same if or if there no runners on base. If that is true, why isn’t Craig hitting .450-.475 day in and day out, while he is doing it with men in scoring position? Some guys are just great under pressure and some not. Perhaps when there is no one on, he is trying to hit it out of the park. Who knows, but we do know he is a great clutch man with men on (as in Phillips, just not quite as good).

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 5, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        “The birds do not need that much support from out of towners.”

        But they do Cinci. Every time I go to a Cardinals game I meet fans from Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana. Personally, my family is traveling from Central Indiana (the south side of Indy 1 1/2 hours west of Cincinnati). So they very much DO get tons of out of town support. It’s precisely why they consistently sell out at home and rank among the leaders in all of baseball for attendance at away games. Cardinals fans travel well.

        The attendance in Cincinnati (or lack thereof)…is something that has always bothered me. The Reds deserve better than that. With their history…it should be automatic. They draw fans from Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and W. Virginia. I think JM’s explanation above might best describe it. In fact…he may have nailed it.

  14. thehakko936 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    The suicide squeeze was a problem.

    First base being open to walk Bruce is not an issue. Replay the inning without the bunt and first base is still open.

    To me, the most questionable point of the game surrounded the defense of the Reds in the top of the 4th. Phillips gave up on that ball assuming Arroyo had it. The result was what certainly should have been one out and a possible DP were both squandered. Votto moving to his right is a problem. He can’t stay on his feet at all. That and a pathetic throw attempt cost another out. Combine all of that with Choo making a bonehead throw and you have an inning that should have been a 0 run inning runting into a 2 run inning. Ultimately, that poor defense cost the Reds that game long before extra innings happened.

    Unlike the Reds, the Cardinals will make you pay for mistakes. That payment allowed the Cardinals to stay in the game and ultimately scratch out a win. That is why the Cardinals have post season success and the Reds don’t/won’t.

  15. cohnjusack - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?c_id=stl&gid=2013_09_04_slnmlb_cinmlb_1&lang=en&mode=box#gid=2013_09_04_slnmlb_cinmlb_1&mode=video

    Even Dan McLaughlin couldn’t hide his bewilderment over such a stupid play taking place. And he’s a dumb guy.

    • blues1988 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      well said hahaha. all our tv guys are dumb (al is by far the worst) , on the other hand the rooney/ shannon combo is great. rooney, the smart knowledgeable one and shannon the one who keeps everyone loose and laughing. i’d love to see rooney move to tv, because i watch way more games than i listen to.

  16. js20011041 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    The one bunt that I don’t have much of a problem with is Phillips’ bunt. He’s a walking double play, so for him to get a runner in scoring position with one out, rather than end up with two outs and nobody on, I’ll take that. I don’t think it particularly helped their cause, but I don’t think it hurt them either. The real problem is batting a Phillips in the two hole behind Choo. The last guy you want hitting behind a high OBP hitter is someone who, for one thing, doesn’t get on base, and for another, hits into a bunch of double plays. If he’s going to bat second for the rest of the season, he might as well change his name from Brandon Phillips to Rally Killer.

    • jm91rs - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      Phillips has made it clear that in the 2 hole his approach at the plate is going to be completely different. Remember he’s a much bigger believer in situational hitting and “clutch” than most people prefer. I think he’ll do fine there, no way he can be worse than Cozart or Frazier.

      • js20011041 - Sep 5, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        Well, unless his change in approach includes more walks and fewer groundballs, he’s going to be actively hurting the Reds in the two hole. But that won’t happen because a hitter can’t change who he is. This change in approach is going to come solely from Phillips bunting more. Phillips one single desirable offensive attribute at this point is his power. If he’s giving up his power to move runners over, then he is worthless offensively.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 5, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        The Mouth will do fine anywhere.
        As much as he grates on my nerves, dude can hit anywhere in the lineup. He’s solid. That ridiculous bunt aside…he is a baseball player through and through.
        Although it pangs me to admit as much.

  17. joshfrancis50 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    I thought the exact same thing. Why pitch to Votto at all? He may have had a down night, but he’s still the most dangerous guy in the Reds dugout. Didn’t make sense to me.

  18. jm91rs - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Mesoraco attempting to bunt the winning run into scoring position is fine. He should be a better bunter. And Cozart bunting Hamilton into scoring position is fine. You’re being naive if you think Hamilton is a guarantee to steal every time on Molina. He might already be the best base stealer in baseball but 100% success rate isn’t realistic. Bunting him over so that a single to the outfield scores him from second is fine.

    The only bunt that I and most people should have any issue with is Heisey. Dusty already didn’t like Heisey, I suspect this will cost him a few days of playing time. What a stupid move. No way in hell he was going to take a bad pitch like that and get to first with Molina’s cannon. I guess he was hoping it was such a stupid move that he might actually catch everyone sleeping.

    By the way, nice try by Molina to jump into Cozart to draw some sort of interference. The Ump wasted no time shaking his head and saying “that ain’t happening”.

    • jm91rs - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      I wonder though if it was really Dusty’s call and he’s blaming Heisey? Choo was pretty far down the line on the failed attempt, which tells me he knew it was coming.

  19. Eric Chase. - Sep 5, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    This is probably not the popular opinion around here, but I’m very tolerant of bunts…except when non-bunting types are asked to perform the task. That’s almost always the recipe for disaster.

    And good for Phillips for getting the bunt down (the 31st of his career). Choo is a caught stealing machine, so yes, get him over for Votto…even amid the slump he’s in. If Votto does what he’s easily capable of doing, then the complaints over walking Bruce and Heisey’s nonsensical attempt become inconsequential.

  20. hughhansen - Sep 5, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Is that an accurate recap of the last play?

    A suicide squeeze with TWO outs? Huh?

    And the hitter put it on?? How does a hitter put on a suicide squeeze? What sign did he give to the runner on third?

  21. northstarsmitty - Sep 5, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Help me out Reds fans, I did not watch this game. Did Baker have Chapman come in to pitch while the game was still tied? You can see my frustration if this were true. Too often have managers panicked and brought in their closer in the 10th of a tie game, only to have plan B closer choke later on or the use of the closer early comes back to bite you by giving him the ball in situation that means nothing to him. C’mon Baker!

  22. northstarsmitty - Sep 5, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Watch the Reds if you want to see a team fail miserably at utilizing the bunt to gain runs. Watch the Twins “pirahna’s” if you want to see a team that knows how to bunt and when to bunt with crisp execution. In past years they’ve been far more expectional at it, but Gardy is the king of scrapping for every run with every player at the plate

  23. anjichpa - Sep 5, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    I’m frustrated by most of the reporting (and commenting) I’ve seen on the bunt attempt. It was NOT a suicide squeeze, nor even a safety squeeze. By definition, a squeeze is a sacrifice attempt. With two outs, the run can’t score unless Heisey singles or reaches as a result of error. Further, if the play were a suicide squeeze- as reported- Choo would be breaking with the pitch. He was not. On a safety squeeze, Choo would need to wait until the bunt was laid down before breaking for home. He wasn’t waiting. He was caught unprepared.

    As much as Dusty is maligned as a manager, I have an extremely difficult time believing the coaching staff would be responsible for a bunt attempt with 2 outs. The most likely explanation is the public one- Heisey improvised, and Choo was hung out to dry in an unfamiliar situation.

  24. thiruc - Sep 5, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    The Reds are a mediocre team this year. They do win games, but not like the last year when they consistently victorious. If they make it to the play-offs this year, it would be due to luck only. Hopefully, next year would be better with a different manager; may be some change is needed.

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