Discussion: Was the Bunt the Right Decision Last Night?

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.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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8 Responses to Discussion: Was the Bunt the Right Decision Last Night?

  1. seasonedobsverer says:

    Great analysis Rob. It is why I call him Clueless Joe. He missed 2 signs in that inning. The one he gave to Jeter and the one he didn't give to Swish. @ 2 and 0 Bailey was missing and had already walked 2. Make him prove himself. The clueless one takes away more opportunities late with questionable judgement then he puts his team in good positions with smart coaching. My list is long but the most glaring example came last year against Texas. Bottom if the 9th down 1. Cervelli leads off with a double. Humphries up. I bunt him over don't you? Clueless PHs with granderson, pre KLong makeover, batting 095 against lefties. Washington almost pulls a hammy getting out of the dugout to bring in Feliciano warming up in the pen. Three pitches later Cervelli still on second 1 out. Jeter drives one to right that would have scored anyone from third, 2 outs. next batter makes it game over yankees lose. If he doesn't have 200m worth of talent behind him he would be a short order cook.

    • seasonedobsverer says:

      That is my rant on Girardi. As far as discussion. It was 70/30 let jeter hit. Granderson has been prone to striking out lately and Tex has not stepped up in the clutch. This .240 no.3 hitter just isn't cutting it. Yeah he has 80+ rbis. But take away HR produced ones and he just hasn't done the job. That's not a good outlook for giving up your hottest bat.

    • Erick says:

      I like the Yankees, but your right, Girardi is the worst manager I've seen in baseball. Maybe someone should send him a bool called, Baseball Managing for Dummies. Doesn:t matter which level it"s written for, it might help him.
      Again tonite, score tied at 3, who does he bring in, Mo, who hasn't done well, unless save situation. Lucky he set them down in order. But what does clueless do next, replaces him with Soriano.
      As long as he is manager, Yankees will not win another World Series, he got extremly lucky in '09,

  2. MJ593 says:

    Also, let's not forget that it was Brett Gardner on first base. He scores on a double even from first, so you are really only trying to get him over to second so he'll score on a single. Granderson and Teixeira don't hit singles though, they hit doubles and homers, so Gardner would have scored anyway. I was screaming at the tv when Girardi had Jeter bunt. What a waste of a Jeter at-bat and way to blow what could have and should have been an awesome Yankees comeback.

  3. Floridayank says:

    I agree with Jeter, but even more so on Swisher. Ball 2 to Swisher was high and outside … he had to take another pitch and force the guy to throw strikes. Sure, Swisher figured he was getting a fastball on 2-0, but 2-1 was just as good a time as 2-0 to take a swing; but better if it was 3-0 and take again.

  4. Joe says:

    I had no problem with the call, last thing I wanted to see was a ground ball double play. Biggest problem I had was Swisher swinging 2-0 to a guy that couldn't find the plate even though that pitch appeared to be one I still say make him throw 2 in strikes in a row. If it was a LHP then u definitely let Derek swing but a tough righty(1-5 in career)I'm not really sure but I'm sure about 1 thing. If Jeter bounced into a 6-4-3 everyone around would have been calling for his head for not getting the runners over with still two cracks at the bat to tie. The biggest mistake Girardi made in that game was keeping in Colon to late.

    • seasonedobserver says:

      If your afraid of the DP then why not hit and run? You have a man who is at the top of his game handling the bat right now and 2 very speedy runners. Clueless was guilty of trying to time the market. (Umm. Let's see this guy is 3-3 he's due to make an out let's take the bat away from him). I wish he would think this way when he sends Posada up to PH late with runners on 1st or 1st and 2nd and less then 2 outs. Or maybe he's been burnt by that so often that he was gun shy with Jete. What ever the reason it wasn't the worst decision. Just the least aggressive at a point and time where aggression was warranted..

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