First Pitch

First Pitch: The Pirates Continue to Bunt Away Their Best Chances

First Pitch: The Pirates Continue to Bunt Away Their Best Chances

The Pirates need to stop bunting away outs. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

In the eighth inning of tonight's game, Starling Marte led off with a bunt single. The score was tied 2-2, and if the Pirates scored a run they would be able to turn to Mark Melancon for the save in the top of the ninth. The Diamondbacks kept left-hander Wade Miley in to face Jordy Mercer, with Andrew McCutchen on deck and Russell Martin in the hole. Predictably, the Pirates bunted Starling Marte over to second, which led to an intentional walk to McCutchen. Russell Martin then struck out and Marte was thrown out trying to steal third, ending the inning.

Clint Hurdle said that he did this to give both Russell Martin and Pedro Alvarez a chance to bring in the run from second. If you go off the run expectancy matrix, then having runners at first and second with one out is more likely to give you a run than a runner at first with no outs. But in this particular situation, that strategy doesn't make sense. Here a...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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