A no-hitter at any level of baseball is quite an accomplishment. In youth baseball, no-hitters are a bit more common especially if the pitcher is well above the average skill level of his/her peers. Whether it is your team’s bad luck at the plate or the pitcher’s incredible command of the strike zone, being no-hit is demoralizing for any team at any level of baseball. So, what do you do to break up a no-hitter?
I asked this question on my Facebook page (RI Baseball Experience).
“Your team has been no-hit for 5 2/3 innings vs your cross town rival’s best pitcher. Your team is only down one run and (as we know) a rally can happen at any time in baseball. With one out to go, do you send your hitter up with instructions to bunt? Even if it is your best hitter? Or do you let them swing away and do their best? Some would say bunting to avoid a no-hitter is taboo. Others, say, we need base runners and a run, and so far nothing has worked. What are your thoughts?”
46 people voted and the results are: 74% say “Swing Away, Do your Best” and 26% say “Bunt, Start a Rally.” In addition to the votes cast, here are a few thoughts from voters on this question:
“If bunting to get on base or drive a run in messes up the rhythm of the pitcher or in this case starts a rally then do it.“
“Get on any way you can. It’s not to break up a no hitter, it’s to try to win the game.“
The Pros of Bunting – If successful, you put the tying run on base. Base runners can be a distraction to a pitcher. As a former pitcher, I know that having to concentrate on the batter and a runner or runners on base requires extra mental focus. This can be just the sort of thing to rattle even the best pitcher in your league.
The Cons of Bunting – If your best hitter has fouled off several pitches and is just missing at the plate, bunting completely eliminates his/her chance of a really big hit, home run to tie the game. Also, if your best hitter is not used to bunting, the results could be disastrous with a botched bunt attempt.
Thank you to everyone who voted and keep your eye out for more Facebook polls. These polls are designed to engage you the fan, the coach, the mentor, and to help others understand rules, situational baseball, and much more.