About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

14 thoughts on “Stop. The. Bunting!

  1. That decision to but Nunez was wrong for all the reasons you mentioned.
    Besides jeter was soon to be up and I'd rather Nunez swing the bat than to leave it in Dereks hands at this point.

    • I wouldn't say that much. A successful bunt would have moved the runners to 2nd and 3rd, at which point a Jeter grounder to the middle infield would have pushed across the run. It makes sense on the face of it considering Jeter's really low SO% as well. It's just that by doing that you're playing just to get one run instead of looking for multiple runs.

  2. The first thing I saw when I got home and turned on the TV last night was Gardner at the plate in the 8th with Martin on. When I saw Gardner square to bunt I almost heaved my beer bottle through the TV.

    Your point about context is right on, Brien. Joe doesn't consider the hitter at the plate nor the hitters behind him. In the 8th, he definitely should have let Gardner swing away knowing that Nunez (not a lot of ABs) and Jeter (not a lot of hitting ability left) were behind him.

    If that situation were Gardner on 1st and Jeter at the plate, then I would support the bunt move because I'd have more faith in C-Grand and Teixeira getting a hit to score the runner from 2nd. But you can't sacrifice outs when you have your weaker hitters coming up, regardless of who's at the plate.

  3. It looked like Gardner was bunting for a base hit. He squared very late, and tried to drag it up the first base line.

  4. Joe's gotta stop bunting so much, I'm not quite sure what his infatuation is with the bunt… It's an awful play, I lost it last night when he had Nunez who had ripped a double in the second bunt in the third with the anemic Derek Jeter on deck…. Not quite sure what Joe is doing?

    Is he tired of being called Joey Looseleafs and going by the numbers as he should and wants to give more of a "i manage with my gut" persona??? Jim Leyland Manages with his gut and hasn't managed a winner in 5 years… I hope this changes and Joe goes back to his binders….

  5. Bronx Bombers? I think Joe knows that – wish folks would make up their minds. For the last month, seemingly everyone in the free world has been complaining that the Yankees "Only score off home runs." So Joe tries to manufacture a run, what happens? Now we need to have our power hitting left-fielder swing away.

    Even tho I hate passing the baton to DJ and EN, the idea was good – a lot less chance of a double play, a good chance of advancing the runner – end result being that both Nunez and Jeter have the chance to fold. In this case, it was Jeter. I still like that better than a double play and Nunez at bat, with the bases empty. Then again, I like it less than Gardner hitting a double and Martin scoring from first. Your point? Option one seems easily as likely as option two.

  6. While we're bunting way too much in general, I usually don't mind Gardner bunting, because he makes the defense have to field it near-perfectly to avoid the infield hit. That being said, all your points on both the 4th (super dumb) & 8th (kinda dumb) inning bunts are valid. In a somewhat related story & I know this is sacrilege in some corners, but Jeter needs to come to grips quickly with the fact that he should not be getting the most PA's for this team and not make a stink about Girardi to moving him down to the 6, 7, 8 range. I know it wouldn't have worked out exactly this way, but I'd be much happier with ice cold player X bunting to give the red hot player Y an RBI opportunity.

    Also, can we stop attempting to steal 2nd base, get caught, then immediately drawing a walk? That would be awesome.

  7. It's all in the Girardi playbook: Bunting runners over (regardless of who's on deck), lefty-righty pitching matchups (regardless of how the current pitcher is doing) and the bullpen formula from 1996 (ignoring the hot hand.) I've said it before: the Yankees won the WS in 2009 in spite of the managing.

  8. If you don't see how a bunt there is the right play–to get one run in the 8th, by scoring on an out, with Rivera in the pen–you know nothing about baseball.

    • Well alright then. I guess we should tick off the things I *do* know. A) It was the top of the 8th, not the bottom, so the Tigers had 6 outs left, not all of which Mo was going to pitch. B) It was Mo's third appearance in as many days. C) They *didn't* score the run in the first place, which makes sense because Nunez and Jeter were coming up.

    • I can't believe it's 2011 and people still think this is 'the right way" to play.

  9. I agree that there have been a few too many bunts this year, though the 8th inning bunt last night was fine. Mostly, I am just glad to see that Brett Gardner has finally learned how to get a bunt down. It used to drive me insane when Joe would call for him to bunt the last couple years and you knew it was going to be a disaster. How a guy with his speed made it to the majors before learning how to get a bunt down is beyond me…

  10. It isn't how often you bunt, it's when you bunt. And the most important part of that is who is going to hit. The difference in run expectancy between having a runner on first with no outs, and having a runner on second with one out, is less than a tenth of a run. The hitters are more important than that.