With the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees tied 1-1 in the top of the seventh on Tuesday night, Bryce Harper was willing to do whatever it took to get on base. Attempting a bunt in a 1-2 count probably wasn’t the best way of going about that.
Harper, who led off the inning, squared around to bunt against Masahiro Tanaka and fouled the pitch off, resulting in an incredibly boneheaded strikeout. He tried to justify the decision after the game.
“I think with two strikes, you’re just trying to get on base right there,” Harper said, via Alex Schiffer of NJ.com. “He threw a good pitch to bunt actually. I just got on top of it and fouled it back. I mean, if I lay it down perfect, actually if I don’t even lay it down perfect, if I just lay it down on the third-base side, I’m safe at first base and I’m on first with (Ryan Zimmerman) coming up.”
Sure, but not with two strikes. And considering he tied the game with a solo home run off Tanaka in the fourth, Harper probably had no business trying to bunt his way on to begin with.
Nationals manager Matt Williams, who dropped his head in disbelief after Harper’s strikeout, did not hide the fact that he was disappointed.
“Yeah, we’ll save that one for another day,” Williams told reporters.
Harper said he was simply trusting his gut.
“You know, it happens. I’ve done it before,” he explained. “Bunted with two strikes before. Maybe not at the big league level, but I’ve done it before. So it was in my head the whole time when I was 1-2. I went with my gut and it didn’t work.”
You should probably get that out of your head next time and just swing away, Bryce. Williams doesn’t want to do his secret handshake with a power hitter who strikes out on a bunt attempt.
Video via @1007MountainDr