Friday, April 16, 2004

When to bunt?
Interesting discussion at Rob & Rany on the Royals. I didn't see the game, so this was the first I had heard of the play. But with the game tied, Pena decides to bunt with Santiago at the plate and the AL's fastest man, Rich Thompson on first, in an attempt to trade an out for a base. Bad move. It was late in a tie ballgame where runs are much more valuable, no outs. Thompson is pretty much a sure bet to steal the base (80% in the minors). Why give away an out, when you can get the base without giving up that out? Then, with a man on second, it's much more likely he will score with no outs than with one out (he could score without having to get a hit).

Instead, the bunt went right back to the pitcher, who turned and fired to second for the force and double-play. Pena is a great manager, but sometimes his infatuation with the bunt is too much. In this case, it may have cost them a win.

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