Yeah, Bunt I Wouldn’t Have Bunted
Nope, don't wanna see this again. Not with the game on the line. Okay?
That, ladies and gents, was the most scintillating, entertaining four-game split in the history of The Ballpark.
What we saw: The Rangers almost rally from down 8-0 in Game 1. A surprisingly stellar start by rookie Matt Harrison as the Rangers hold on for a 3-2 win in Game 2. Josh Hamilton’s walk-off homer off impeccable closer Francisco Rodriguez in Game 3. And last night, the Rangers erased a 10-4 deficit only to lose 11-10 in 11 innings when the best-hitting team in baseball inexplicably fell in love with the bunt.
What we learned: Max Ramirez is a stud. Hamilton isn’t a mirage. The Rangers are gritty and fun to watch and, best of all, legit.
But just think how good you’d feel if they’d have taken three of four and were within 5 ½ this morning.
Trailing by one in the bottom of the 11th, Brandon Boggs draws a lead-off walk. Despite Ramirez tying the game earlier with a two-run homer, manager Ron Washington has him bunt in an attempt to move the tying run to second. Eh, I don’t love the move, but it’s a solid, defendable baseball decision.
Ramirez pops up the bunt, but K-Rod throws wildly to second, putting runners and first and second with no outs. Which brings up Ian Kinsler, the American League’s leading hitter. The Rangers are one swing from tying this thing or perhaps even …
I know it’s hindsight, and if Kinsler executes the bunt – he popped out to K-Rod trying – you’ve got the tying and winning runs in scoring position with Michael Young and Hamilton coming up. Maybe it’s just me, but I want Kinsler, Young and Hamilton to all have some hacks with the game on the line.
Taking the bat out of the hands of the planet’s hottest hitter just doesn’t make sense. Does it? -- Richie Whitt
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.