The sacrifice bunt put down by Lorenzo Cain with runners on first and second and nobody out in the first inning of a scoreless Game 4 of the ALCS on Wednesday was a brilliant piece of baseball strategy by the Royals. The world wonders why a club would ever give up an out to play for a run with your third hitter in the lineup as hot as any in baseball in the first, particularly against an explosive offense like the O’s.
I have the answer.
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The Royals are batting .071 this season with a shadow between home plate and the pitcher. When it reaches the mound, that number jumps to .298. The shadow hadn’t yet reached the mound in the first. Additinally, we know that Eric Hosmer has grounded to first base 63 times this season. Steve Pearce has attempted to nail a base runner at the plate 103 times in his career and has made 18 errors.
Where did I get this data, you ask? I made it up, obviously.
I endorse analyzing baseball with the data we have, and I don’t think we should blindly ignore what we’ve learned. I caution against becoming too close-minded, however. It is certainly possible that the Royals have information we are not privy to.
I’m simply suggesting we stay open. You never know, Lorenzo Cain may experience a bout of daily muscle weakness in his core between 3 p.m. and 3:22 p.m. CT.