The Yankees were at one point down 6-0 to the Oakland Athletics last night but battled back to make it 6-3 in the 9th inning. Then with runners on first and second and no outs Yankees manager Joe Girardi called for Derek Jeter to bunt the runners over. He did, two walks, a foul out and a fly out later and the Yankees had lost 6-5.
Was it the right move to bunt with Jeter?
I’m certainly leaning towards no as the Yankees lost the game. They were in a two run situation, not a one run situation and in my mind you don’t ever try to bunt for two runs, especially in this situation.
First of all, Jeter is the Yankees hottest bat lately, he entered that situation 23-for-his-last-46 and was already 3-for-3 during the game. Why take the bat out of his hands in that situation?
The second reason I don’t like the bunt there is because Andrew Bailey had come in and quickly displayed that he didn’t have his best stuff that night. In the 9th inning outs are an extremely precious commodity, why give one up to a guy who is struggling to get them? It was wasteful and if the Yankees did have one more out the might have been totally different.
So why did Joe Girardi bunt? He must have figured that by having Jeter bunt they are putting the tying run into scoring position with their no. 2 and no. 3 hitters coming to the plate with two chances to tie the game. It also kept them out of the double play.
By themselves those are both solid reasons, but personally I felt like he gave up on Jeter’s hot bat and ignored the fact that Baily had already shown he was shaky.