The five most buntastic bunts that were ever bunted ... this postseason
While there have been plenty of big-time home runs (like, say, any of the Cardinals' game-winning dingers) and dominant pitching performances (see Bumgarner, Madison), the bunt has been the big star of this postseason. Ross Barnes would be proud.
But because humans need a sense of control in our chaotic universe, it's important that we rank and compare the best bunts against each other. With our handy BUNTOMETER that was handed down to us by a race of wise ancient aliens, this buntometer ranks each top bunt with a movie pun.
I know, aliens are weird. With that said, here are the five most buntastic bunts:
5. Yadier Molina stays in the game to lay one down
Yadier Molina is an artisan. Crouched behind the plate, this Flying Molina Brother can frame a pitch as if it were going to be displayed in the President's Oval Office. And he's no slouch with the bat either -- his .816 OPS since 2011 is second only to Buster Posey among full-time catchers.
But when Molina strained his oblique in Game 2 of the NLCS, he didn't immediately lift himself from the game. Instead, with runners on first and second, Molina squared and did this:
Two batters later, a single drove home the Cardinals' second run of the game.
BUNTOMETER: SNOW WHITE AND THE BUNTSMEN
4. Royals bunt five times in AL Wild Card Game victory
Yes, everyone remembers the Royals stealing seven bases in their AL Wild Card win over the Athletics, but whatever. All you need to do to steal a base is run really fast and also be able to read the pitcher so you don't get picked off and also get a good jump and also hope the catcher has a slow pop time -- easy stuff.
The real beauty was the four, count 'em, four sacrifice bunts.
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the third, Alcides Escobar squared around, moving over a runner who would eventually come in to score. In the bottom of the ninth, down 7-6 and with their postseason dreams fading, Escobar laid another one down, putting the eventual tying run in scoring position. (It should be noted that the run scored on a sacrifice fly, which is like the bunt's less cool brother.)
With the game tied in the 10th, Christian Colon laid down one more. And in the bottom of the 11th, Jarrod Dyson followed suit. Unfortunately, neither of those bunts lead to Royals runs.
Oh yeah, and in the seventh, Omar Infante bunted for a base hit. But that wasn't a sacrifice, so...
It was a beautiful thing, watching all of those softly tapped pitches die on the infield grass. Unfortunately, baseball is not a poetry contest and so must be judged not on beauty but on success. Since only half of those bunts lead to runs, the Buntometer has knocked it down a few points.
BUNTOMETER: THE BUNT FOR RED OCTOBER
3. Mike Moustakas is a two-outcome player
Not to be left out of the Royals' bunt-happy ways, even Mike Moustakas joined K.C.'s bunt brigade. Despite hitting four home runs this postseason, including the game-winner in Game 1 of the ALDS, Moustakas still knew he could help his team by laying one down.
With the Angels shifting against Moustakas in Game 2 of the ALDS, he took advantage of that wide open space and dropped one down the third-base line.
And then, with the Royals and Orioles tied during Game 2 of the ALCS, Moustakas came to the plate with a runner on first. Would the hot-as-the-fire-of-1,000-midday-suns batter swing away?
Nope. He moved the runner over with this bunt. Naturally, Alcides Escobar (who else?) would drive in the winning run home on this double:
BUNTOMETER: DAS BUNT
2. Nationals stay alive in ALDS thanks to Wilson Ramos' bunt
After an 18-inning victory that saw the Giants go up two games to none against the Nationals, things were looking bleak for Washington. Especially with San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner on the mound looking to wrap up the series.
What they weren't counting on was Wilson Ramos' magic bunt. Despite having not laid down a sacrifice since 2011, Ramos dropped one down with two strikes on him. Bumgarner, who had been firing balls to the plate with impeccable control all afternoon, inexplicably threw wide to third, watching helplessly as two runs came in to score.
That would be all the runs the Nationals would need.
BUNTOMETER: GOOD WILL BUNTING
1. Giants walk off with a bunt
But nothing can top the Giants walking off in Game 3 of the NLCS with a bunt. After Brandon Crawford led off the inning with a walk, Juan Perez tricked the defense by pretending to lay down two bunts before he singled up the middle. And when Gregor Blanco next came up, he used some of the residual bunt magic left over from Ramos' sacrifice to induce a throwing error from Randy Choate to win the game.
With the buntometer about to explode from overuse, this is what it spit out:
BUNTOMETER: ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN BUNT