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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Miklasz: Cards Blow a Chance to Beat Cubs: Another Reason to Despise the Sac Bunt

Old-school Bernie sounds more like Brian Kenny here…

But there’s a bigger picture here.

You have only 27 outs in a nine-inning game.

Every out is precious.

So don’t squander them on unnecessary sac bunts.

And never do it when you have a runner on second base with no outs — and three chances to get him home.

Matheny absolutely adores the sac bunt and I don’t know why.

The Cardinals have been among the most aggressive sac-bunter teams in the majors since Matheny took over as manager in 2012. In his first four seasons, the Cardinals ranked among the top seven teams for most sac-bunt attempts three times. And in the other year, 2015, they ranked 14th among the 30 teams.  This season only four teams have tried more sac bunts than Matheny’s Cardinals.

And for all of Matheny’s serial sac bunting — or as I call it, “Death By Bunting” — here’s where the Cardinals have ranked among the 30 teams in sac-bunt success rate each season:

2012 — tied for 17th.

2013 — 25th

2014 — 11th.

2015 — 20th

2016 — 22nd

Matheny remains undeterred. Despite reams of easily accessible data and that give current managers more information than ever to make educated and beneficial strategy decisions, Matheny manages like it’s 1957 or something.

All of the studies have produced or reaffirmed the same conclusion: sac bunts just aren’t a smart percentage play — and that’s especially true when you have runners on first and second and in possession of all three of your outs.



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