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Thread: Bunting

  1. #1
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    Bunting

    I hate to sound like my grandfather did back in the day, but the Reds lack bunting skills!

    As recently as Tuesday night, Loshe failed to sacrifice to advance a runner, Griffey wasn't asked to, and by the looks of Edwin's feeble attempt, he should not have been expected to. The Arizona booth guy mentioned that Jr. had no sac bunt since '03 (or was it '04?) and that Encarnacion has never had one yet.

    I think there are some coaches on this board who could better explain this, but it looks like (A) the bunter is often too far back in the box to keep the ball in fair ground, (B) the bat is not far enough in front to eyeball the pitch contacting the bat, (C) the bat easily covers the middle/in part of the zone but not the outside pitch, (D) there is a lot of "stabbing" at the ball, especially at outside pitches (perhaps caused by "C").

    Possible practice drill remedies: (1) screw, velcro, or otherwise attach a kid's small fielder's glove to the bat's sweet spot, and "catch" (no stabbing) the batting practice pitches in that glove -- this presumes that the bunter has been already been told/shown/ coached as to the proper stance, arm, hand positions, etc.;

    (2) do everything in #1, except replace the little glove with a baseball-size hole drilled part-way or all of the way through the bat;

    (3) a more "disciplined" BP -- or at least as much is feasible with adult professionals -- in which no one gets to swing from the heels or play "homerun derby" until he has mastered angling the bat (bunts toward 1B or 3B) and the soft-hands RECEIVING of the ball onto the bat as opposed to pushing or slapping at the pitch.

    Much of the above sounds more suitable for Pee Wee League, but it might be justifiable if one deems it important enough for a contender to be able to execute a sac bunt every once in a while, ala the Diamondbacks, for instance.

    We've all witnessed the light-hearted, half-hearted two bunts each guy does in pregame BP. Is it reasonable to spend as much time and effort on CORRECT bunting as it is on the practice of pick-off plays at second base, for example? How many lost scoring opportunities and game losses must be endured before Jerry -- or someone in charge -- takes seriously the Reds' inability to bunt?

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  3. #2
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Bunting

    You're absolutely right, it's been atrocious this year, thus far.

    You can blame coaching or you can blame the players. Narron talks a good fundamental game, but his team very seldom plays sound fundamental baseball- for instance, Hammy missed the cutoff man in the very 1st inning last night, allowing the runner to go to 2nd base. (Of course, our Roy Hobbs did redeem himself very nicely with the HR )

    I think it's more of a reflection of players just being lazy, not doing in games what they have been drilled to do. I'm sure pitchers especially, are made to practice their bunting skills ad nauseum.

    The little things make a big difference; the great ones know that!
    Last edited by Always Red; 04-11-2007 at 12:47 PM. Reason: spelling

  4. #3
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Bunting

    Personally I think the players should work on hitting the ball more. I can't believe Gonzalez diddn't get at least a double in his last at bat last night.
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  5. #4
    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: Bunting

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    Personally I think the players should work on hitting the ball more. I can't believe Gonzalez diddn't get at least a double in his last at bat last night.
    He should have homered. I don't know why he didn't.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

  6. #5
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Bunting

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis View Post
    He should have homered. I don't know why he didn't.

    Exactly.
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  7. #6
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    Re: Bunting

    Aaron Miles walked in the Cards 5th. Wainright bunted him over. Then Eckstein slapped a hit to score Miles. Incredible.

  8. #7
    Smells Like Teen Spirit jmcclain19's Avatar
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    Re: Bunting

    Bunting is far overrated. Narron should be drawn & quartered for asking his cleanup hitter trying to bunt with no outs and runners on 1st & 2nd late in the game.

    I don't mind the use of the bunt as a weapon to get a hit (especially if your fast and adept at bunting) and I don't mind pitchers bunting because they frankly don't have the best odds that they could do anything with the ball otherwise.

    Other than that, a bunt tends to be a waste. You have only 27 outs to burn every baseball game. Why give away some easy ones with your best hitters?

  9. #8
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: Bunting

    Not saying we shouldn't bunt better than we do, but at some point, it's no different than hitting -- it's a skill where some people are better than others, and it's harder to do against game pitching than BP pitching.
    Not all who wander are lost

  10. #9
    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: Bunting

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcclain19 View Post
    Bunting is far overrated. Narron should be drawn & quartered for asking his cleanup hitter trying to bunt with no outs and runners on 1st & 2nd late in the game.
    Hear, hear.

    "Bunting" currently resides at #11 on my list of Top 10 problems with this club.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

  11. #10
    Puffy's Daddy Red Leader's Avatar
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    Re: Bunting

    Quote Originally Posted by Far East View Post
    I hate to sound like my grandfather did back in the day, but the Reds lack bunting skills!


    You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.

    Moral of the story. Chicks dig teh bunt!
    'When I'm not longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlor and call myself Scoop Dogg.'
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  12. #11
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: Bunting

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRed View Post
    Not saying we shouldn't bunt better than we do, but at some point, it's no different than hitting -- it's a skill where some people are better than others, and it's harder to do against game pitching than BP pitching.
    *cough*Brook Jacoby*cough*
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  13. #12
    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: Bunting

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcclain19 View Post
    Bunting is far overrated. Narron should be drawn & quartered for asking his cleanup hitter trying to bunt with no outs and runners on 1st & 2nd late in the game.

    I don't mind the use of the bunt as a weapon to get a hit (especially if your fast and adept at bunting) and I don't mind pitchers bunting because they frankly don't have the best odds that they could do anything with the ball otherwise.

    Other than that, a bunt tends to be a waste. You have only 27 outs to burn every baseball game. Why give away some easy ones with your best hitters?

    I wasn't a fan of that move either.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

  14. #13
    Member jimbo's Avatar
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    Re: Bunting

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcclain19 View Post
    Bunting is far overrated. Narron should be drawn & quartered for asking his cleanup hitter trying to bunt with no outs and runners on 1st & 2nd late in the game.
    Can't agree at all. Bunting is a tool for manufacturing runs that championship teams do well. Living and dying by the home run is rarely a recipe for success in the majors, a team has to be able to manufacture runs and bunting late in the game with runners on first and second is a sound baseball decision. By doing so you take care of two things, eliminate the double play possibility and create a sacrifice situation with the runner on third. Things that winning teams know how to do.

    As far as having your cleanup hitter bunting, EE isn't your typical cleanup hitter at this point of his career.

  15. #14
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    Re: Bunting

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis View Post
    Hear, hear.

    "Bunting" currently resides at #11 on my list of Top 10 problems with this club.
    That high? I'd throw it up there somewhere around "should there be heathier food choices at GABP" in terms of issues to be solved pronto.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Leader View Post
    You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.


    Sweet!
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  16. #15
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Bunting

    A single plates the winning run and anything more than that plates two. By bunting you are:

    1.) Virtually guaranteeing that EE makes an out
    2.) Maybe not accomplishing anything if he doesn't place the bunt well
    3.) At best going from having 1 guy in scoring position to having 2 guys in scoring position
    4.) Avoiding a double play

    Of course, Narron is essentially trying to maximize his chance of scoring at least 1 run. Unfortunately, I'm not sure he knows the math.

    I present the chart below from Baseball Analysts. Each cell represents the average number of runs scored based on the below circumstance: cleanup hitter up, X # of outs, Y on-base situation:

    Code:
      4	    0	    1	   2
    ---	 .488	 .293	.118
    x--	 .885	 .567	.252
    -x-	1.160	 .711	.343
    xx-	1.501	 .962	.488
    --x	1.318	 .972	.412
    x-x	1.816	1.230	.530
    -xx	1.950	1.445	.644
    xxx	2.345	1.616	.863
    Put simply, the run expectancy before a successful bunt was 1.501. The run expectancy, had EE got the bunt down and advanced the runners, would have been 1.445. Basically a gain of nothing whatsoever.

    If I am in the bottom of the inning and I knew that 1 run definitely wins the game, I can see that strategy making sense, as the probably of scoring any runs at all probably goes up (even though the overall run expectancy goes down). However, given that you're in the top of the inning and knowing that EE is bad bunter, he should've been playing that AB straight in my mind.

    Of course, if you should take anything away from this chart or similar charts it's this: OUTS ARE MORE VALUABLE THAN BASES. IF IN DOUBT, SAVE THE OUT.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 04-11-2007 at 04:39 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.


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