Sacrifice Bunt (SH)

Definition

A sacrifice bunt occurs when a player is successful in his attempt to advance a runner (or multiple runners) at least one base with a bunt. In this vein, the batter is sacrificing himself (giving up an out) in order to move another runner closer to scoring. When a batter bunts with a runner on third base, it is called a squeeze play and, if successful, is still recorded as a sacrifice.

A sacrifice bunt does not count against a player's batting average or on-base percentage, as the decision to sacrifice often isn't made by the player. Typically, a player will be given a sign by the third-base coach, instructing a bunt attempt. In National League ballparks, pitchers are frequently called upon to sacrifice bunt.

If an error is committed and the batter reaches base, he is still credited with a sacrifice. However, if the sacrifice bunt attempt turns into a single, the batter is simply credited with a hit and no sacrifice is given. An official scorer may determine that a batter was exclusively trying to bunt for a base hit and choose not to give him credit for a sacrifice. However, this is rare in sacrifice situations (with less than two outs and men on base).

Sacrifice bunts are one of the most commonly debated aspects of the game. Statistics have proven that in most cases fewer runs are expected to score when a team chooses to give away an out. But those numbers do not take into account the batter at the plate or the situation in the game.

Example

Watch: Mookie Betts lays down a sacrifice bunt.

In A Call

"sac," "sacrifice," "sac bunt," "gives himself up"