With two outs and runners at the corners, Chris Perez was summoned to face Howie Kendrick. Kendrick bunted Perez’ first pitch past him toward second base, where the deep-playing Luis Valbuena could only watch helplessly as Kendrick crossed first base to win the game.
After the game, Chris Perez expressed his opinion:
"It was a bad baseball play that happened to work out," Perez said afterward. "I don't want to say it was bush league. But you never see that. Ninety-nine percent of hitters in that situation would rather win the game with a hit, not a bunt."
Now, let me say, I totally agree with Perez. This was a bad baseball play. It was a stupid baseball play. I would even go so far as to say it was a bush league baseball play.
By Chris Perez.
Steve's argument is that if Perez had been a little more aware of his surroundings, he might have made a play on Kendrick's bunt.
Well, maybe. But I watched the play a few times, and I don't know that any power pitcher in the world could have done anything about that one. Mike Mussina in his prime, maybe. Kendrick just got a little lucky, pushing the ball past the pitcher and toward a second baseman who was playing deep.
What's really bush league is Chris Perez's reaction. I know he was frustrated, but really? Kendrick's not supposed to do whatever he can (within the rules) to win the game? I'm only halfway through this book and maybe I just haven't got to the part where it says you're not supposed to bunt with a runner on third base in the ninth inning. But I'm pretty sure that Chris Perez is the first pitcher in the world who thinks even little guys without much power are supposed to swing hard every time.