Yesterday, against the shift, Anthony Rizzo twice bunted for a single. As you can see in the picture above, it was like taking candy from a Cardinal. A little baby Cardinal. One that’s been crying for a while. Because you took its candy.
There was not a defender in sight on the left side, and, with no runners on base, Rizzo did his job: get on base. Rizzo’s third time up? The Cardinals did not shift. As I’ve indicated before, this entire sequence made me giddy.
“Everyone wants to play these shifts, and I have Castro hitting behind me. If no one is on and they’re going to give me that – may as well take it.”
Bingo. May as well take it. Who wouldn’t want a 1.000/1.000/1.000 line, eh? And, just as Rizzo said, each time he bunted, Castro got a hit behind him. One of those hits was a homer.
(I’d probably debate the idea that Rizzo shouldn’t be bunting if it was a one-run or tie game. Some say he should be swinging away, because he could hit a homer. But I ask: if he was swinging away in that situation, and he rips a single to right, are you saying to yourself, “I’m glad he was swinging, but that outcome really sucked.” No, right? You’re saying, “All right, nice rip, baserunners, hooray.” So if the option of a *free* baserunner is given in *any* situation, why wouldn’t you take it?)
Rizzo added to the fun when asked if he’ll bunt if the Brewers shift on him this weekend: “If I bunt, I’d bunt it right back to Garza.” He was joking, but, you know … that could work.