The baseball world was divided yesterday.
Two nights ago, the Trenton Thunder came to the plate in the top of the ninth vs. the Hartford Yard Goats. They had yet to get a hit, and were losing 3–0. With 1 out, the Thunder’s center fielder laid down a bunt and reached safely to break up the no hitter.
The bunt sparked all kinds of controversy among baseball fans and players everywhere. Many agreed with the batter’s decision, while others were disgusted. Here’s the play:
Before I give my opinion on the matter, let me just say that I’m looking at this from a hitter’s perspective. I was a position player in college, and I haven’t set foot on a mound since sophomore year of high school.
With that said… bunting to break up a no hitter is absolutely, 100% fine. If your team is struggling and you see a way to not only get a hit, but get on base, you take it. Getting no-hit is embarrassing, and a player should attempt to prevent it happening by any means necessary.
Bunting, much to the dismay of launch angle revolutionaries, is a part of the game of baseball. It’s not flashy, and it doesn’t get oohs and ahhs from fans, but it’s a part of the game nonetheless. For players with speed, the base hit bunt is a weapon, and it should be utilized when it’s available.
The main argument is that it’s a cop out, or that it’s a bitch move, but what are hitters supposed to do? Roll over and die once the game reaches a certain point and watch their opposition mob the pitcher who just embarrassed them? Absolutely not.
The offense doesn’t owe the pitcher an easier path to a no hitter. In fact, if they owe him anything, it’s an all-out effort to ruin his day. If the offense isn’t doing everything in their power to get hits, is the no hitter even deserved?
There is no lost commandment of God that says “Thou shall not bunt to break up a no hitter”. The unwritten rules of baseball are being broken every day, and I don’t see a reason why this one is any different.