Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bunting In The 4th?

What was Melky thinking? Except that he hasn't been batting well, they weren't looking for a bunt when no one was on base and he got a hit out of it, stole second and then scored. Well done!


joe said...

A bunt in that situation is not a bad play.

Bunting in a way that you are sacrificing yourself is where you run into problems...the whole point is we don't like to see outs made unnecessarily. If the situation calls for it, so be it. Bunting for a base hit is a completely different conversation than the one we had previously had.

Michael in New York said...

But bunting NEVER has to be an intentional out, unless you're talking about someone who can't move like Giambi. Any decent player on any team should be able to bunt effectively and that means moving the runner over (if there is one) and making it to first base.

joe said...

How easy do you think it is to deaden a 95 mph fastball or 90 mph slider and get it so that it is just the right spot that you can get to first base safely?

If it was easy people would do it. It's not, so the only ones that try to bunt for a base hit are the ones with speed to burn...and in that case the defense usually plays them accordingly, further reducing the chances of it being successful.

Look at Carlos Gomez on the Twins. By all accounts an excellent bunter, and certainly one of the fastest players in baseball along with Ichiro, Crawford, Tavares, etc. I don't have the exact stats, but he's bunted something like 90 times this year and been successful around 22 times I believe. This is a guy that is basically a professional bunter and can run like the wind...and yet his batting average on bunts is still considerably lower than it is when he is not bunting. Not to mention the difference in slugging percentage or on base percentage...

Bottom line...sometimes bunting is a good strategic play, but it is not something that works often enough or provides enough upside that it should be used on a mass scale as you seem to be a proponent of.