Before we get into this let me make something very clear. This is not an anti Ryan Howard blog. Howard was an all time player and he doesn’t get the respect he deserves in this town.
Now as for last night. Matt Carpenter came up to bat with the shift on and took a different approach.
Matt Carpenter just bunted for a double… yes, you read that correctly! pic.twitter.com/mtJUNpG4ji
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 18, 2019
Been begging for Ryan Howard to do that for years. See that they have the hard shift on for you, just poke the ball to third base. You can walk yourself to first or even second in this case. It was one of those things where everyone in the stadium knew the ball was going low and away and still Howard would swing and miss. I get he’s in there to hit the ball a mile but sometimes the pitchers aren’t going to give you a chance. If even every three at bats Ryan laid down the bunt it would force the defense to adjust in some way. He would have saved himself some 190+ strikeout seasons and also had a few more singles.
Once again this is not a bash Howard blog. What he did wasn’t just all time for the Phillies organization, it was MLB historic. For four straight years he averaged 50 home runs 143 RBIs while batting .2778 with a slugging % of .589. AVERAGED. He was crushing balls and when it came to clutch September hitting, there wasn’t anyone else you wanted at the plate.
So not trying to kill Howard here but I just am a firm believer that if you are a professional baseball hitter. Yo should be able to lay down a bunt to a completely open area at will.