I would just like to point out that in 98% of baseball situations, I hate hate hate bunting.
Here is when you can bunt…in my opinion anyway.
- If you are a pitcher.
- If you are a really, really bad position player batting ninth with good players following you.
- If you are really, really fast and basically bunting for a hit.
And that’s about it.
I know that last night in the bottom of the ninth inning down by 1, with a man on second, zero outs, and Francisco Cervelli (and not Jeter, or Teixeira, or Arod, or Cano, or Posada, or or or) at the plate, it is a “textbook” bunting situation, but as I was watching it happen, I was thinking ‘this probably won’t work.’
It wasn’t so much that I disagreed with Cervelli bunting, so much as I had zero faith in Miranda or Winn to get a fly ball so Cano could tag up. That basically meant that if Thames couldn’t drive in the run, then no one was driving in the run.
Thames took the walk. The Yankees did not score.
If you can’t trust the players following the bunt to get the fly ball, then the bunter (one who happens to currently be batting near .400) should swing away himself. I’m sure; however, that if you were to ask Girardi about it, he would say that he did expect Miranda and/or Winn to come through.
Now perhaps Francisco Cervelli wouldn’t have driven in Cano, but I would rather he try for a sac fly to get Cano to third so that the possibility of a hit is greater than just giving the out away.
This is all especially true when you factor in that Cervelli has been absolutely on fire lately, and that Papelbon has been struggling against the Yankees (at least in the immediate past).
And don’t get me started on one Derek Jeter and his fabulous habit of bunting in the first inning…though at least he hasn’t done that since moving to leadoff.