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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Twins players angry after Orioles bunt against shift in 9th

The Minnesota Twins were quite aggrieved Sunday after a Baltimore Orioles player bunted against the shift trailing by seven in the ninth inning.

With one out in the ninth and nobody on in a 7-0 game, Baltimore catcher Chance Sisco laid down a bunt against the shifted Twins defense, allowing him to reach base with a single. The Orioles had just one hit before the Sisco bunt, but ended up loading the bases before Minnesota shut things down for the win and that seemed to be that.

Twins second baseman Brian Dozier and pitcher Jose Berrios, however, were not at all pleased with that bunt, and made it clear after the game.

We already knew that bunting for a hit with a no-hitter in progress is against baseball’s so-called “unwritten rules.” This, however, was only a one-hitter.

What’s more, the Twins were putting their shift in action against Sisco, meaning they clearly still saw merit in going out of their way defensively to prevent the catcher from getting on base. If Minnesota feels justified in doing that, why is Sisco in the wrong for taking advantage of their defensive alignment and getting himself an easy single? You don’t get to employ a certain strategy in a blowout and then get upset when an opponent exploits it instead of rolling over and playing dead. It’s a silly controversy, and the Twins don’t look good for whining about it afterward.

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