It was Bat Day at The Shed yesterday. The first 15,000 fans got a free bat.
Maybe the Rangers should have hung on to a few of those for themselves. The managed only seven hits and two runs in another extra-inning loss. They are now 4-7 in extra inning games.
For some odd reason, the Rangers choose to ignore small ball when it comes to extra innings. Rather than trying to bunt that runner to second to start the inning, they swing away. And pretty much leave him there.
The argument is, a base hit will score him anyway. But that’s not necessarily true. A base hit could score him but it’s not a certainty that the hit scores him from second. It is almost a certainty that it scores him from third.
In fact, here are all the ways a runner can score from third with one out, without getting a hit:
2. Passed ball.
3. Wild pitch.
4. Fielder’s choice.
6. Sac fly
7. Suicide squeeze.
8. Steal home.
9. Dropped third strike.
Here are all the ways you can score from second with no outs or one out without getting a hit:
It would seem to make sense—especially when the Rangers are the home team and know the other team scored one run in the top of the tenth—to play for at least one run by trying to bunt the ghost runner over to third. Those ninety-extra feet mean everything.
Yesterday, knowing they were down one run in the bottom of the tenth, the Rangers struck out, struck out, then struck out.
The runner was stranded at second while all three batters went back to the dugout, bat in hand.
Maybe, since it was Bat Day, they wanted to make sure their bats weren’t given away. You know, like their at-bats just were.