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Mike Matheny calls for questionable bunt in seventh inning

Oct 11, 2013, 11:23 PM EDT

Mike Matheny AP

With the game still knotted at two apiece, the Cardinals started off on the right foot leading off the bottom of the seventh against Dodgers starter Zack Greinke. Yadier Molina, who hit .319 during the regular season, led off with a single to left field.

Molina, as you are likely well aware of, is not very fleet of foot, but Cardinals manager Mike Matheny ordered Jon Jay to attempt to bunt Molina to second base. Instead, Jay bunted back to Greinke, who fired to second for the force out at second. It was questionable because Molina’s lack of speed makes it so Jay has to lay down a great bunt for the idea to be executed properly. Then, even if the bunt is successful, Molina isn’t fast enough to score from second base on most singles.

Bunting decisions get lambasted probably more than is warranted, but this is certainly one instance where it is deserved. It’s true that successfully bunting Molina moves a runner into scoring position while removing the double play possibility, but outs are a precious limited resource and they shouldn’t be burned simply because your lead-off base runner is slow.

  1. jre80 - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Not a wise decision with Molina on base. Wasn’t a terrible bunt either

  2. okwhitefalcon - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Headlines on bunting.

    The apocalypse is officially upon us.

    I’m waiting for the “Mattingly wastes Gonzalez to have Dee Gordon forced out at second” headline.

    In 3..

    Aaannnnd scene.

  3. notsofast10 - Oct 12, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    Home plate ump needs to wake up. Missing a good game. No tag at home on Ellis but called out.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:01 AM

      Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. I saw it slow motion. Saw frozen on MLB network and he was out.
      Left elbow. Regardless…that call is an out 100% of the time. Even with replay it doesn’t get over turned.

  4. scottster63 - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    with the way greinke was pitching, the coach may have felt it was his best chance at scoring. decisions to bunt are often made with this criteria in mind.

  5. db105 - Oct 12, 2013 at 5:20 AM

    Even had Molina made it to 2nd safely it most likely would require at least 2 hits to bring him home.

  6. rejamaro - Oct 12, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    Matheny must have gone to the Ned Yost school of managing!

  7. cohnjusack - Oct 12, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Both the bunt AND the hit and run backfired that inning. Did we all learn a valuable lesson yet?

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