The Rangers had a perfect chance on Sunday afternoon to take the lead in the ninth inning. Mike Olt walked, stole second and advanced to third on an error by Kansas City's catcher, Salvador Perez. If you're playing for one run, which is all the Rangers needed at this point in a tie game in the ninth inning, then there really isn't a more ideal scenario.â†µ
Due up next for the Rangers? The top of the lineup, with Elvis Andrus, Micheal Young (hitting second, why? But that's another discussion) and Josh Hamilton. Ideally, three of your best hitters are coming up.
So, what does Ron Washington elect to do? A suicide squeeze with Elvis Andrus. With the go-ahead run on third, and nobody out. The same Elvis Andrus who is hitting .296/.368/.401 on the season.â†µ
Obviously, the plan failed, as Andrus couldn't get the bunt down on a ball that bounced in, so Olt was a sitting duck and was tagged out.â†µ
There is absolutely no reason to be bunting in this situation, at all. A fly ball would score a run, and with the infield drawn in, the chances that Andrus can sneak a ball out of the infield increase.â†µ
Even if Andrus struck out or popped out, the Rangers would have had two more chances to score the run. Instead, the top of the lineup wasn't afforded a chance to score the run from third.â†µ
The Rangers, of course, went on to lose in ten innings. Hopefully this will teach Washington a lesson, and he'll abandon the suicide squeeze -- but I'm not holding my breath.â†µ