Read today's eNewspaper
The Baltimore Sun

To bunt or not to bunt?

There was almost nightly complaints about former manager Dave Trembley's failure to call for the bunt more, but I'd imagine this is not what you had in mind:

With men on first and second and nobody out and the Orioles trailing by two runs in the eighth inning on Wednesday, interim manager Juan Samuel asked for catcher Matt Wieters to drop down a bunt.

"That was my decision. That’s what I wanted to do,” Samuel said.

It didn't work out too well. Wieters, who didn't recall the last time that he had bunted in a game but knew it hadn't been with the Orioles, dropped one down not far from home plate. Florida Marlins catcher Ronny Paulino had plenty of time to field it and get the lead runner at third base. That loomed large later in the inning when the Orioles scored one run on Corey Patterson's RBI infield single, but came up short of tying the game as Miguel Tejada flied out with the bases loaded.

The bunt certainly surprised and pleased Florida reliever Brian Sanches.

“I think I heard one of their guys say, ‘We never bunt,’” Sanches said. “I don’t know whose call that was. I’ll take an out any way I can get it. The first out in that situation is big.”

Samuel's rationale was a successful bunt would give his team two shots at a single that would likely tie the game. He also feared that the plodding Wieters could hit into a double play and take the Orioles out of the inning.

My main problem with the decision was Wieters hasn't been asked to bunt like that in years. And behind Wieters in the order were Scott Moore and Cesar Izturis, who was pinch hit for with Jake Fox, so it's not like you were setting up the inning for Nick Markakis or Ty Wigginton.

Either way, Wieters took the blame for failing to execute.

"It’s the first bunt this year, but we do it every day in [batting practice]," he said. "Juan told me if it’s first and second, we’re probably going to bunt here. I just have to get the job done. We do it every day three times in BP. I just didn’t get it out there far enough."

Copyright © 2016, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
61°