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Articles Tagged Bunt 

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May 31, 2013 11:13 am

In A Pickle: The Bunts That Lead to Big Things

4

Jason Wojciechowski

Some bunts are followed by big innings, believe it or not.

When nerds (your humble narrator included!) argue about bunting, they often rely on a metaphor that's barely a metaphor but is really a way of comparing baseball to other sports. In basketball and football and hockey and rugby and lacrosse and sometimes ultimate frisbee, there is a clock, an explicit timekeeping device used to mark the end of the match (or segment of the match) and how near it draws. If the score on the pitch is 13 to 2 and the hard time cap of 40 minutes is just 90 seconds away, well, it's physically impossible to score that many points in that little time, even for Reggie Miller. Baseball, by contrast, has no clock, only outs. If you have fewer runs than the other team once you use up your 27 outs, you lose. Outs are thus analogized to time, with the idea being that intentionally taking precious units off the clock is not a winning gambit.

The metaphor alludes to the infinitude of baseball, the idea that there's nothing in the rules preventing a game from happening to the end of time in a different way than in timed sports. In basketball, a game could have infinite overtimes, but there's something about the clock starting over every five minutes that feels distinct from the infinite baseball game—I think it's the visual image of an endlessly tied basketball game, where the clock loops back to five minutes again at the completion of each overtime, that makes it feel finite, just a circle that we can hold in our hands and our minds, not a line (score) extending out past our contemplation the way a baseball game does.

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May 11, 2012 3:00 am

Prospectus Hit and Run: Donnie Buntball

15

Jay Jaffe

Don Mattingly's affinity for the bunt could be keeping the Dodgers from scoring more runs.

Like many a Dodger fan, I found myself pulling out clumps of hair on Tuesday night. The Dodgers—a first-place team at 19-10 to that point, surprisingly—were facing the Giants (14-15) in L.A. Despite having Clayton Kershaw on the hill, they were on the short end of a 2-1 score, because with a man on base in the second inning, their ace left a high fastball to Brett Pill a bit too far out over the plate, and Pill drove it 384 feet into the left-field bleachers. The Dodgers had plated a run against Ryan Vogelsong in the bottom of the second thanks to a pair of doubles, but they could get no more, and as the innings passed, the situation grew more desperate.

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Torii Hunter's suggestion that Mike Scioscia should have had the Angels bunt does not make sense.

After the Angels lost at Tampa Bay last Wednesday, right fielder Torii Hunter suggested that his manager, Mike Scioscia, had not done everything possible to put the team in a position to win. This is the sort of problem that arises when you enter a season with astronomical expectations and then stumble badly out of the gate.

After losing on a walk-off homer by Oakland castoff Brandon Allen the following afternoon and on a walk-off single by Asdrubal Cabrera in Cleveland the next night, the Angels found themselves nine games behind AL West-leading Texas, the largest deficit of any team in baseball. The off-season signings of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson were supposed to take last year's 86-win team to the proverbial next level. Instead, the Angels have skidded in the opposite direction, leading some folks to panic.

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A look at a 1976 comic book featuring a baseball game between superheroes and supervillians.

Allow me to introduce you to the single greatest comic book issue ever printed, courtesy of The Comic Treadmill:

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May 30, 2008 12:00 am

Prospectus Matchups: Sacrificial Lions

0

Jim Baker

Let these sacrifices not be in vain, not when it's being done by men better-equipped to put that pitch in the seats.

Earlier this year, I was at a University of Texas game when something jarring-at least to my mind-happened. In the fourth inning of a close game against Stanford, coach Augie Garrido had Kyle Russell-the player who led the nation in home runs in 2007-lay down a sacrifice bunt.

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March 20, 2008 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: Clearing the Decks

0

Dan Fox

It's a topic grab bag with looks at bunting, preventing free bases, and more.

"When I came up, you couldn't play if you couldn't bunt, but home runs have pretty much taken over the game today... Bunting has become a lost art."
--Kirby Puckett


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Having documented Willy Taveras' special talents bunting for base hits, Dan turns to the strategy involved.

"The grass has always been tall here. I love it."
Willy Taveras, in anticipation of his recent visit to Wrigley Field


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Willy Taveras' run at a bunting record has Dan pondering the when, why, and how often as far as bunting for base hits.

"He just pointed at the ball. That's all he could do."
Willy Taveras, commenting on his bunt single against the Yankees' Roger Clemens on June 20th.


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April 7, 2006 12:00 am

Prospectus Matchups: All About the Marilyns

0

Jim Baker

Jim's matchups include the real prize for impressive hit streaks, a few notes on sac bunts, and a possible cure for "Springtime Small Sample Size Syndrome."

I wish Jimmy Rollins had gotten all irrational after failing to keep his hitting streak going on Thursday. You know, just blown up at his teammates like this: "I made the second out of the seventh inning. All you had to do was get on base twice to get me another shot. Was that so much to ask? You didn't even get on base once! It's all your fault."

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October 25, 2004 12:00 am

Playing The Right Cards

0

Mitchel Lichtman

Offering a rebuttal to Jonah Keri's take on Game 1 of the World Series, guest contributor Mitchel Lichtman weighs in on Tony Womack's bunting, the value of baserunning and John Mabry.

With respect to Tony Womack bunting with runners on first and second in the second inning with the Cardinals already down 4-0, Keri writes:

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On Sunday, I was watching the Long Beach State/Arizona game, eventually won by the Wildcats in 11 innings. There were a couple of things that popped up in the 11th, during Arizona's game-winning rally, that I wanted to examine. The bottom of the inning began with Long Beach third baseman Danny Mocny making a terrible throw on a ground ball by UA's Moises Duran. The error put Duran on second base with no one out. Wildcats' shortstop Jason Donald came up and immediately showed bunt. Now, this is a situation we see all the time in MLB. A team gets the game-winning run to second base with no one out, and tries to bunt him over to third. I'm not questioning that tactic; as James Click's recent series on sacrificing showed, that's a viable use of the bunt, even if everyone east of Belmont Shore knew it was coming. My problem is with what Long Beach State didn't do.

The bottom of the inning began with Long Beach third baseman Danny Mocny making a terrible throw on a ground ball by UA's Moises Duran. The error put Duran on second base with no one out. Wildcats' shortstop Jason Donald came up and immediately showed bunt.

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