MLB

Braves put down first sac bunt of the season, fail to score

They almost made it! 

The Braves, that is, very nearly went through the entire 2022 season without a sacrifice bunt. Then, in the top of the fourth inning in their 161st game of the season, Michael Harris came to the plate with runners on first and second with no out and laid one down to move the runners. 

After a Robbie Grossman strikeout, intentional walk to Ronald Acuña, Jr. and then a Dansby Swanson strikeout, the inning ended without the Braves scoring a run. 

The Braves would end up winning the game and clinching the NL East, two items that are much more important than a bunt, but this nugget is pretty interesting. 

As noted, this was the Braves’ first sac bunt of the season and they were just about a game and a half away from completing the first full, sac-bunt-less season in MLB history. Here’s the leaderboard, as things stand, illustrating the extent to which the lack of bunting is a current phenomenon: 

Fewest sacrifice bunts in seasons with 160-plus games

1. 2022 Braves, 1
2. 2022 Dodgers, 3
T3. 2022 Marlins, 4
T3. 2019 Angels, 4
T5. 2022 Cardinals, 5
T5. 2018 Blue Jays, 5
T7. 2022 Giants, 6
T7. 2022 Phillies, 6
T7. 2021 Rays, 6
T7. 2018 A’s, 6

The Braves and small ball don’t really mix, but it’s of no matter. They are the NL East champs and lead the league in home runs and slugging. When you slug like that, there’s no need to give away outs and the logic behind that kind of played out perfectly with the one sac bunt they’ve put on this season. Harris entered the game hitting .296/.336/.515 with 27 doubles, three triples, 19 homers and 64 RBI in 113 games and there was thunder coming up behind him, too. They wasted the out and left two men on base. 

With the playoffs right around the corner, don’t expect to see many more — if any more — bunt attempts from the Braves in 2022. 



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