My feelings about sacrifice bunting have been duly noted on this site, so I won’t go into it again. But I will say that every out is precious; why would you give any of them away, especially late in the game when you are down? It is just dumb. Oh, I guess I did go into it again. In any case, I am absolutely stunned that the Mets attempted a sacrifice in the 10th inning Saturday in the game that was suspended from Friday.
Now, I should point out that I could not see the game here in sunny Los Angeles, but it is not difficult to recreate what happened. After a scoreless ninth the Braves scored two runs in the top of the 10th to take a 7-5 lead. John Buck led off the bottom of the inning by getting hit by a pitch. Ike Davis followed with a single (!) to put runners on first and second and no outs.
So now pitcher Craig Kimbrel had his back against the wall. The potential game-winning run was at bat, with no outs. And for some reason Ruben Tejada tried to bunt. He failed, popping up to the catcher. Justin Turner then hit into a game-ending double play.
This is incomprehensible to me. The Mets were down by two runs. They were mounting a rally and they voluntarily put the skids on it with a bunt. I could maybe see if they were down by just one run — a successful bunt and a sacrifice fly would tie the game. I still wouldn’t do it, but it is somewhat understandable. But down by two runs? Under such a scenario they would still be down by a run, and down to their last out.
Why would they let Kimbrel off the hook like that? He is usually automatic, but clearly in this game he was not. He was struggling to get that first out, so the Mets just gave it to him. It was just plain stupid and it cost the Mets a chance to tie and perhaps win the game.