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March 31, 2014

What You Need to Know

Opening Night Action

by Daniel Rathman


The Opening Night Takeaway
Last May, Jason Wojciechowski wrote about “Bunts That Lead to Big Things.” One of his takeaways: It makes sense to bunt “when you’re fast, and the pitcher isn’t so sure of anything he’s doing.”

That’s a lesson often applied in the lower levels of baseball, from Little League to high school, when pitchers are more likely to get rattled by adversity or need a few more PFP drills to get comfortable fielding their position. But as Jason discovered, and as we saw on Sunday, it can work against a big-league pennant hopeful, too.

After Hyun-jin Ryu’s seven-scoreless-inning bid to become the first pitcher in major-league history to collect two wins before the end of March, and after Seth Smith’s game-tying solo home run in his first Padres at-bat, the stage was set for precisely the scenario that Jason described.

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Related Content:  Los Angeles Dodgers,  Bunting,  Padres

9 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

BurrRutledge

I've missed these!

Mar 31, 2014 04:42 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Daniel Rathman
BP staff

Heh, well, they're back!

Mar 31, 2014 06:56 AM
 
ceadie

Glad your back with AYNTK , Daniel.

Mar 31, 2014 05:50 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Daniel Rathman
BP staff

Thanks—good to be back!

Mar 31, 2014 06:57 AM
 
seabass77

I swear that Rafael Roque started opening day for the Brewers and that was his first big league start. Anyone know anything about him?

Mar 31, 2014 17:16 PM
rating: 0
 
seabass77

Pretty sure he did, this is what I found.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=roquera01&t=p&year=1999

Mar 31, 2014 17:18 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Daniel Rathman
BP staff

Interesting—I'd based that on a handful of tweets and a quick B-Ref Play Index search, but I don't see what disqualifies Roque's start from the group, even though it didn't pop up. Thanks for pointing that out.

Mar 31, 2014 18:09 PM
 
BP staff member Daniel Rathman
BP staff

Actually, looking at his B-Ref player page, it looks like he had nine major-league starts in 1998.

Mar 31, 2014 18:10 PM
 
seabass77

yep, man, thought I had something on the baseball experts.

Apr 01, 2014 03:53 AM
rating: 0
 
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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Going Yard: The Violen... (03/31)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (09/30)
Next Column >>
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (04/01)
Next Article >>
Framing the Future (03/31)

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