Baseball Squeeze Plays

We've already learning about bunts, but when should a team use them? Get ready to learn about the strategies behind bunting in baseball.

Introduction

We've already learned in Chapter 6.5: Baseball Bunts about bunting. It involves holding the bat horizontally over home plate with the objective of tapping the ball into fair territory.

In this tutorial, we will learn more about bunts in plays called squeeze plays and how they work in baseball.

Bunts

Bunting usually does not allow the batter himself to reach second or third base, but it is very useful in advancing a runner who is already on base. Usually, a batter will execute a bunt toward the end of the game, when it is a close game and it is crucial to advance runners for a greater chance that they will score. Bunting is usually executed by hitters who are average or below average, or who specialize in bunting.

Players usually only bunt when there are less than two (2) outs, and less than two (2) strikes. This is because bunting is a relatively risky maneuver, and because if the batter has two (2) strikes and bunts the ball foul, he is out.

Sacrifice Bunt

Batters most commonly use bunts for the purpose of advancing runners on base, at the expense at getting out themselves. This is called a sacrifice bunt: a batter will bunt the baseball, the fielders will field the bunt and throw it to first base to put the batter-runner out, thus giving time for the runners already on base to advance.

Squeeze Play

A squeeze play is a special type of sacrifice bunt. It occurs when a batter bunts when there is a runner on third base, in an attempt to drive him home.

Baseball Squeeze Play

There are two (2) types of squeeze plays:

  1. Safety Squeeze
  2. Suicide Squeeze

Safety Squeeze

In a safety squeeze, the runner on third base waits to see if the bunted ball lands in fair territory, then he begins running to home plate.

Suicide Squeeze

In a suicide squeeze, the runner takes off for home plate as soon as the pitcher delivers the pitch. Since he won't know the outcome of the bunt until it is too late and he has already left the base, this is a very risky and rare play.

Squeeze plays are usually only used late in the game when the score is very close, and it is crucial to drive in a runner in any way possible.

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