The Ole Ball Game

What do you call a shortened hit?

by Miko
(Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A)

Miko asked:I need help on it I do not know anything about baseball?

Rick answered: Miko, thank you for your question.

Using your terminology of "shortened hit", I am thinking you are referring to an offensive play called the "bunt".

If you look at the top picture above, the batter has set himself up to "bunt" the pitch. He does that by bringing the bat out in front of his body, holding it flat so that he has the most amount of bat barrel over which to hit the ball on the ground.

A closer look will show that the ball is in contact with the bat at the time the pic was taken.

There are various reasons for a player to bunt:

1. He may bunt for a base hit, where he wants to place the ball in an area that it is hard for the defense to get to, thus they have a harder time getting him out at first base.
Bunting for a base hit can be seen in the old black and white photo, where the batter is looking to pull the ball with him up the first base side, hoping to beat the throw to first base.

2. A sacrifice bunt, which derives it's name from the desired result, the batter is giving himself up to advance another runner(s) that are already on base.

3. A squeeze bunt, where there is a runner on third base who is running toward home plate as the pitch is being delivered. The batter's job is to bunt whatever gets thrown up to the plate. The bunt needs to be on the ground, not in the air.

4. A safety squeeze, where the runner on third waits to see if the batter bunts the ball on the ground before he runs, and the batter is bunting only strikes, hence a little safer system than the squeeze bunt.

Your reference to calling it a shortened hit may come from the short distance the ball will travel off the bat, compared to a hitter taking a full swing at the ball.

The final photo could be a player doing any one of the 4 types of bunts listed.

Bunting is often referred to as "small ball". Opinions vary in this modern age as to whether bunting is valuable or not.

My belief is that it still is, and always will be a valuable offensive tool for the teams that choose to use it.

Yours in baseball,


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