Yeah, Bunt I Wouldnâ€™t Have Bunted
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 Hamiltonâ€™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 isnâ€™t a mirage. The Rangers are gritty and fun to watch and, best of all, legit.
But just think how good youâ€™d feel if theyâ€™d have taken three of four and were within 5 Â˝ 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 donâ€™t love the move, but itâ€™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 Leagueâ€™s leading hitter. The Rangers are one swing from tying this thing or perhaps even â€¦
I know itâ€™s hindsight, and if Kinsler executes the bunt â€“ he popped out to K-Rod trying â€“ youâ€™ve got the tying and winning runs in scoring position with Michael Young and Hamilton coming up. Maybe itâ€™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 planetâ€™s hottest hitter just doesnâ€™t make sense. Does it? -- Richie Whitt