"I've got a pair of hits for the evening, and I've been my team's hottest hitter over the last week... but I think I'll bunt in a game changing situation."
Surprisingly, Curtis Granderson's sacrifice bunt in the 7th inning of yesterday's game did actually increase the Yankees' odds of winning the game- by little over one tenth of one percent.
Let's imagine for a moment that something else could have occurred, and use the Hardball Time's Win Probability Calculator to evaluate the possibilities.
I'm assuming a 4.0 run environment- I don't know what Target Field's actual environment, but 4.0 is on the low side of average, and Target has been a pitcher friendly park. When Granderson stepped to the plate, the Yankees had an 87.55% chance of winning the game.
|Double Play||runner on 3rd, 0 scored
||1.9%||-6.27||runner on 2nd, 0 scored
||-6.63||runner on 1st, 0 scored
|One out, grounder or fly-||runners on 2nd & 3rd, 0 scored
||65%||+0.17||on 1st & 3rd, 0 scored
||-1.00||on 1st & 2nd, 0 scored
|Single||2 runs scores||13.8%||+7.53||1 run scored, runners 1st & 2nd
||+5.44||1 run scored, 1st & 3rd||+6.99|
|Walk||0 runs score, bases loaded||10.5%
|Double||2 runs score||
|+8.21||1 run scores||+7.36|
|Triple||2 runs score||1.5%||+9.07|
|Homer||3 runs score||4.0%||+9.42|
So, for clarity: Curtis Granderson made the 'smart' baseball play, forcing the most likely outcome, sacrificing a nearly 1 in 3 chance of a more favorable outcome, out of fear of a less favorable outcome which occurs less than twice every hundred times.
Methodology after the jump.
GIDP: career GIDP/ PA with runners on
Single: '08, '09, '10 H- (2B+3B+HR)/PA
Double: '08, '09, '10 2B/PA
Triples: '08, '09, '10 3B/PA
Homer: '08, '09, '10 HR/PA