Sports

Watch: MLB Player Somehow Bunts for an 'Unbelievable' Double

This is why we love baseball. In every game, it seems, you see something you haven’t quite seen before.

Like, for example, a stand-up double on a bunt.

That’s what happened Monday in a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins. In the bottom of the fifth, the Cards’ Matt Carpenter laid down a bunt that resulted in a double.

How does that happen, you ask?

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It wouldn’t have been possible if the Marlins hadn’t shifted the entire left side of the infield to the right side of second base.

It’s not an uncommon tactic against the left-handed Carpenter, a dead pull hitter. In his previous at-bat, he blasted a home run into the right field seats.

On a 1-1 pitch with two outs, Carpenter squared around and executed a perfect bunt toward third base.

Have you seen a stranger hit this year?

There was no one there as third baseman Brian Anderson was standing near second.

The ball rolled all the way to the outfield grass as the pitcher, Elieser Hernandez, went to track it down. By the time he got there, Carpenter was in with a stand-up double.

“It’ll be the shortest double of his career standing up,” the announcer said. “Unbelievable. Why not bunt?”

Carpenter scored when the next batter, Paul DeJong, reached on an error by second baseman Starlin Castro to make it 2-0. The Cardinals went on to win 5-0.

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“I haven’t seen a bunt double to left field,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It was fantastic.”

It’s not the first time Carpenter has taken advantage of the shift.

“It’s nothing new,” he said, reported the Post-Dispatch. “Every time they shift me with less than two strikes I bunt. I’m surprised that they did it because it’s in the books. If it’s less than two strikes and there’s nobody over there, I bunt every single time.”

It was the first bunt double in the majors since the Kansas City Royals’ Alcides Escobar did it in 2015, The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reported.

“I had a pretty good feeling … just because I saw the way they were communicating and the shortstop was pretty adamant about it being the pitcher’s ball,” Carpenter said.

He followed the bunt double with an infield single in the eighth inning.

Miles Mikolas (5-7) got the win for St. Louis. He pitched a gem, allowing no runs in six innings of work.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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