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May 21, 2010

The Josh Hamilton bunt reaction

First, for the anti-Ron Washington crowd, the manager did not ask Hamilton to bunt in the fourth inning. He said he'd rather him not do that in that situation, but was happy with the result. Washington also gave Hamilton some tips in the dugout on bunting after the sacrifice.

For those of you who hated the move and me for defending it on Twitter (ignorant was a frequent term I heard), it got rave reviews in the clubhouse.

From Ian Kinsler: "It was awesome. Anything it takes to win."

From winning pitcher Colby Lewis: "For me, that's about playing baseball. Moving guys around and scoring run."

Nelson Cruz on the surprise of the play itself: "Yeah I was shocked. I was like 'What'." He followed that with a laugh and an RBI.

And from Hamilton himself: "We've been talking about it for a while. Obviously they're not expecting it. That's in my favor. I've been practicing a little bit. It's nothing I've been doing it every day. We talk about when situation calls for it, be a team player and get it done."

Hamilton said it had nothing to do with his struggles against left-handers (.196 entering the game) and everything to do with getting Vladimir Guerrero to third base with one out for Cruz. "The situation with the the first at bat, it went 3-2, I had a pitch that I thought was a ball and was a ball called on me, so with Vlad up on second base, I thought, 'You know what, 0 for 1, let's get a guy over so Nellie can get a pop fly or drive him in so he did that."

He was not trying for a base hit, which is one of the reasons he made sure and got it down before he started running.

Hamilton also said he wouldn't rule out doing it again in the future, and he hopes the threat of the bunt opens up his game for some more hits. He said he doesn't care if people think a No. 5 hitter shouldn't bunt, and doesn't have an ego when that situation arises.

And yes, Hamilton does remember his last sacrifice bunt. It ended up going for a base hit in 2002 when he was playing for Bakersfield. "It was a line drive over the pitcher's head," Hamilton said.

- Anthony Andro


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So Vlad couldn't have scored from second on a double?

Vlad probably wouldn't have scored on a strikeout.

If it's such a sure thing that Hamilton would've been an out anyway, he shouldn't have been in the starting lineup, and he especially shouldn't have been batting 5th ahead of Nelson Cruz.

As I typed this, Vlad scored from second with no outs on a single by Cruz, resulting in 2 on, 0 out.

Cruz and Vald, two guys who can be counted on.

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