Manny Machado's 2nd-inning bunt single was the first of its kind in over four years
Prior to Game 4 of the NLCS, Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado brushed off questions about his perceived lack of hustle by saying that wasn't the type of player he was. "I'm not the type of player that's going to be 'Johnny Hustle,'" he said.
Perhaps that was all part of a ruse on Machado's part, however. In his first at-bat of Saturday's NLCS Game 7, Machado laid down a bunt and hustled down the line for a single. Hello, Manny Hustle:
His fastest home-to-first time of the season (3.96 seconds).- MLB (@MLB) October 21, 2018
Just call him Manny Hustle. 😏 pic.twitter.com/eSa9aU9UTW
Even more impressive was that bunt came on a 3-2 count. Bunts on two-strike counts are obviously rare because of the risk of a strikeout on a foul bunt, but they're even rarer in a full count. In fact, the last time a bunt on a 3-2 count resulted in a single came way back on May 29, 2014, off the bat of Royals outfielder Nori Aoki.
With Machado's bunt placement and speed down the line, he probably didn't need the element of surprise to turn it into a single. But it certainly didn't hurt.