To bunt or not to bunt?

March 29th, 2013
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It's one of the most debatable situations in baseball — whether to try to advance base runners with a sacrifice bunt or swing away and hope for a hit (or take and hope for a walk). Many factors come into play.

In the ninth inning Thursday, Hawaii trailed by one with runners on first and second and no outs. Conner George — one of the Rainbows' hottest hitters — was asked to bunt. He failed in two attempts and then popped out for the first out. Kalei Hanawahine grounded into a double play to end the game.

I would have let George swing away. He's had nine hits in his last 22 at-bats.

The arguments for bunting are pretty solid, too: sacrifice bunts succeed about 2/3 to 3/4 of the time; if the play is executed in this case, they put the tying run on third and the winning run on second, with one out.

The botched sacrifice is far from the only reason Hawaii lost. Give UC Santa Barbara credit for tenacity and coming up with big plays when needed.

As TV analyst Pal Eldredge noted, the shortstops in this series are a lot of fun to watch.

Pal Eldredge @baseballspal16h

Got 2 real slick shortstops playing at LMS tonight. Wobrock from the Bows and Trinkwon from the Gauchos. Both can flat pick it.

___

3 Responses to “To bunt or not to bunt?”

  1. itsallabouttheW:

    It doesn't matter how "hot" a hitter has been, the fact of the matter is, he was asked to sacrifice himself for the team. He needed to put that bunt down. It's a simple play really. A player needs to "want" to bunt and he didn't "want to" enough. He needed to get it done and he didn't.

    Alot more scoring opportunities with runners on third and second. UCSB probably would have loaded the bases. A hit, wild pitch, sacrifice fly, balk,,,, game tied. Just more scoring possibilities, but we'll never know because he didn't make the simple play he was asked to do. Making the fundamental plays gives you a chance for victory.


  2. p simmons:

    Conner George has a smokin' HOT bat. Enuff said.


  3. MrK:

    One can make the argument either way. What I think is most important is that a coach stick to his PHILOSOPHY of baseball, and he should be consistent about it. That way, you can reap the rewards of the "percentages". However, if a coach is inconsistent with his application of his philosophy, then he is playing "reaction" baseball. That is, he's not dictating what he wants to do. Just my opinion.


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