Some people are never satisfied. As many of you know, I'm one of those people. First off, let's celebrate the Nationals clinching the best record in the National League behind a complete game shutout from Doug Fister today! Just as importantly, old bluelineswinger has to find something to complain about. Let's set the stage for a decision that Matt Williams made in Thursday night's 3-0 win over the Mets. But first.....
- He's attempting to bunt for a hit
- He's a pitcher
- Bottom of the 8th inning
- Nats lead 3-0 with nobody out. Nate Schierholtz on second, Tyler Moore on first
- Michael Taylor batting. Danny Espinosa on deck. Pitcher's spot in the hole.
- As the Nats already held a three run lead, it would almost certainly force the Mets to draw their infield in. This is a situation that can't be overlooked. Why? It improves the chances of a ground ball getting through. The infielders wouldn't have the reaction time or range that they do when they're playing back at normal depth.
- It puts two runners in scoring position, which means that a single likely scores two runs (well.... the trail runner was Tyler Moore, so maybe not).
- It sets things up so that a productive out would score a run. A medium depth fly ball would likely score Schierholtz from third base. Even a ground ball that wasn't right at an infielder would give Schierholtz a pretty good chance to score provided he was going on contact.
- Ball low
- Pitch low in the strike zone, bunted foul
- Ball high and away
- Pitch that almost hits him, bunted foul (self defense... couldn't pull the bat back)
- Borderline pitch in the up and in quadrant, bunted foul
- Taylor struck out bunting foul. Neither runner advanced.
- Espinosa, whose contact rate I bashed above, grounded to first base. The Mets turned it into a fielder's choice by getting Moore at second for Out #2. I was fuming too much about the bunt to pay attention to whether or not Schierholtz would have been likely to score on the play.
- Ryan Zimmerman pinch hit for Matt Thornton and lined out to first base.