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More on last night’s Blue Jays game, and today’s lineup

First inning bunts are stupid

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, Joe Siddall commented on the Malodorous One’s first inning bunt, but I thought it was worth discussing.

You’ll likely remember that we scored 4 runs in the top of the first. And then, leading off the bottom of the inning, Shin-Soo Choo doubled off Jaime Garcia. Odor, batting second for reasons that I can’t understand, decides to bunt. Or perhaps his manager told him to bunt. If the manager did, it should be reason two for firing him (reason one is batting Odor second).

Siddall suggested that Odor was ‘bunting for a base hit’ but taking the sac bunt to protect his batting average, saying it was a selfish move on Odor’s part.

It might be selfish but it’s also stupid. Your team is down by 4, runner on second, no outs. Why play for just a run. Tabby, quoting Earl Weaver, said that ‘if you play for one run that’s all you are going to get’. Your first batter clubbed a double, why not see if maybe the pitcher just doesn’t have it today.

We get told, almost daily, that you must get a starting pitcher early before he gets into a groove. It is often true, in the first inning the pitcher is trying to find the edges of the strike zone and trying to find which of his pitches are working.

And, of course, down by 4, scoring 1 run doesn’t help your chances of winning much. FanGraphs tells us that when Odor came up to the plate, the Rangers had a 26.1% chance of winning. After his bunt the chance drops to 24.2%. Elvis Andrus followed the bunt with a single, scoring Choo (I think the same single would have scored him from second). After the run scored, the Rangers chance of winning jumped to 28.6%. So successfully playing for one run improved the Rangers chance of winning by 2.5%. The plan worked, but it barely moved the needle towards helping the team win.

Odor, after the bunt, got high fives from his teammates, as if he did something to help his team, when they should have been angry with him.

I know, I shouldn’t complain when the other team does something stupid, but bad baseball bugs me.

Elvis Andrus made 2 throwing errors again us. It’s comforting that somethings never change. he must play better defense against other teams, right?

We need a long reliever.

I think the most innings we’ve gotten out of a starter, so far this season. was Marco Estrada going 7 innings on March 31st. In 10 games we’ve gone to the bullpen 37 times. If we are using 4 relievers a game, that doesn’t allow for a lot of rest for the bullpen arms.

We really need someone that can give us 2-3 innings of relief work, to let the others in the pen have a day off occasionally.

If a starter had to come out of a game in the 1st or 2nd inning, we’d be in trouble. I don’t know how we’d string 8 innings of relief work together.

I’m not sure what can be done. We don’t have many relievers with options (I think Barnes, Terpera and Osuna are the only ones). I don’t know if we would want to send Barnes down for someone who can go 3 innings.

Roberto Osuna has 99 saves. His next save will make him the youngest pitcher ever to record 100 saves.

Today’s lineup:

You will notice that Pearce is playing right today (heaven help us), Morales plays first and Smoak DHes.