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Bunting With 2 Strikes | Is It A Good Idea?

Bunting With 2 Strikes | Is It A Good Idea?

Bunting with 2 strikes is a strategy that can either be very successful or very unsuccessful. It all depends on the situation and who you’re up against. In this article, we’ll discuss why bunting isn’t always a good idea and how it’s best to use other strategies in certain situations.

In baseball, a bunt is when the batter intentionally taps the ball into play in order to move it quickly upfield. The idea behind bunting with two strikes is that it’s very difficult to hit the ball hard on an attempted strikeout (also known as “strike three”) when you’re trying not to strike out.

Is it a Good Idea To Do Bunting with 2 Strikes?

The answer to this question is it depends on the situation. The best case scenario for bunting would be when there are runners at first and second base with less than two outs during an even point in the game, meaning that you’re not already losing. Bunting here could lead to a run being scored or multiple runs scored since players who are on base will have a better chance at advancing.

However, if there are two outs during an odd point of the game or you’re already losing, bunting is essentially useless since it doesn’t matter who’s on base and your team won’t be scoring any runs with less than two outs. Bunting in this situation could lead to runners being thrown out at first or second base and could end up costing your team the game.

In general, bunting with two strikes should only be used as a last resort when you know that it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to hit the ball hard and score a run. There are other strategies that can be more successful in certain situations, so it’s best to use those strategies instead.

Tactical, Strategy or Mishap?

There are good reasons for this conclusion. If you want to get down two strikes with one swing, your best bet is probably just miss or hook the outside pitch enough that it goes foul, but this will almost never result in a home run.

If you try to deliberately do this (and most players don’t), then there’s no reason to think that your odds of hitting it well upfield would be any better than if you were just trying to make contact. If instead, you’re trying to get it all the way to the outfield, then there are 2 major problems.

  • First, even with a pitiful swing that can barely place the ball beyond an infielder’s reach, it’s actually pretty easy to drive the ball past one of the infielders due to their bad angles and slow reactions. Even someone who can’t hit well can do this 5-10% of the time.
  • The other problem is that if you miss or hook your pitch enough for a foul ball, then it’s almost certainly going into left field which makes getting on base much more difficult because your only hope is that no one picks up the ball before you get to 3rd base and no one throws it back into the infield. So unless you’re unbelievably bad at hitting, it probably doesn’t make sense to try this method of bunting with two strikes.

What’s the Difference Between Bunting With 2 Strikes and Bunting?

When you bunt with 2 strikes, you’re sacrificing an out for the possibility of advancing runners who are already on base—you won’t get credit for a sacrifice if there are no runners on base.

Bunting means moving the ball towards fielders without swinging at it, but not sacrificing any outs in order to advance runners. If your batter bunts the ball toward 3rd base, but doesn’t make it there, it’s a live ball and any runner on base can advance.

Why is the 2 Strike Bunt Foul an Out?

A foul is a foul, whether on the first or second strike. Fouls are even more likely to be called on two strikes because umpires are watching for batters trying to bunt their way on base rather than swing away.

MLB Rules (Rule 5.09(a)(4) and Rule 2 – Section 8)clearly states:

A BUNT is a batted ball that isn’t swung at but rather tapped gently with the bat inside the infield. If the bunt is a foul ball, it is considered the same as any other foul ball, with the exception that if a batter has two strikes, he or she shall be ruled out.

Even though the batter has 2 strikes, they are still allowed to bunt as long as they make contact with the ball.

When attempting to sacrifice a bunt with two strikes, there is a significantly higher likelihood that the attempted bunt will end up in a foul ball. This is because the batter doesn’t attempt to hit the ball with full force, rather they try to get it through by tapping it lightly and having it roll slowly along the ground so they can reach base safely.

Therefore: An out for a foul ball on strike 2!

Advantage of Bunting With 2 Strike

It’s easier to lay down a bunt if you aren’t trying to hit the ball hard, so most players choose this strategy when they have two strikes against them. It prevents a strikeout and hopefully gets runners moving up the field quickly—bunting with two strikes looks like a good idea in theory, but batters need to be careful not to get called out for foul bunts!

Purpose of Bunting, Clarified

  • Sacrifice Hit – The batter is trying to get a base hit and is sacrificing themselves for an opportunity at first.
  • Singles Hit – The batter is looking for a base hit and trying not to strike out. If they fail, there’s no reason why they should risk striking out. They may as well attempt to make it on first or third base if possible (hence the term “singles hitter”).
  • Strikeout Avoidance – The batter wants to avoid striking out and will sacrifice any other outcome in order to do so (this includes bunting). Not considered an effective strategy because of the increased risk of making an out (seen as low percentage play).

What happens if a runner steals base during a bunt?

If a runner is already on base and bunting, the batter must avoid striking out at all costs. However, if they’re trying to bunt for a hit and there’s a runner on first base who’s attempting to steal second, the batter has no choice but to swing away or risk being thrown out.

If they do have to swing away, the pitch is likely to be thrown outside of the strike zone, resulting in a weak or non-existent hit. And if the bunt happens to be a foul ball, that’s one less strike against the hitter or an out if the batter has already two strikes.

The runner has to be aware of the situation and judge if they have a chance at advancing bases or not. If they see there are three strikes on the batter, it’s unlikely the runner will have time to make it to second base while the ball is in play.

However, if there are two strikes on the batter, there’s a chance the runner will attempt to steal. The key is knowing how fast you can go and reading whether or not the ball is going to be in play so you’ll know if you have time to get to a base/home safely.

The Note about Using “Bunting” to Avoid Strikeouts

A common misconception is that bunting for a base hit benefits you if you’re trying not to strike out because it’s difficult to make good contact when you don’t even want to swing. While this may be true, the real reason not swinging is a poor strategy is because there aren’t as many strikes as balls.

This means that it’s easier to get on base via walks than by not swinging and making contact with bad pitches ( bunting or otherwise ). Instead of using “bunting” to avoid strike outs, use “not swinging” instead.

Baseball Terminology / Bunting

  • Sacrifice – To intentionally put the ball in play to advance one of your teammates (usually this results in an out)
  • Bunt – A tap of the ball into play with little or no swing on it
  • Strikeout – When the batter fails to make contact with the ball after 3 strikes
  • Strike Three – Also known as a “K,” this is when a batter receives their third strike and is considered out.
  • Line Drive – When a batted ball rolls along the ground without much bounce
  • Stolen Base – When a runner advances to the next base without the help of the ball being hit into play
  • Foul Ball – When the ball is hit directly into play, but goes into foul territory instead of fair.
  • No Pitch Play – A situation where the batter does not swing at any pitch thrown to him. This also results in an automatic walk and advances all runners on base

Therefore…

In conclusion, bunting with two strikes is an effective strategy if you’re trying to bunt for a base hit and not strike out. If you’re trying not to strike out, however, there are usually better strategies available because it’s difficult to get a hit when you’re trying not to strike out.

Bunting With 2 Strikes | Is It A Good Idea?