Squeeze play (baseball)

In baseball, the squeeze play (a.k.a. squeeze bunt) is a maneuver consisting of a sacrifice bunt with a runner on third base. The batter bunts the ball, expecting to be thrown out at first base, but providing the runner on third base an opportunity to score. Such a bunt is most common with one out.[1] According to Baseball Almanac, the squeeze play was invented in 1894 by George Case and Dutch Carter during a college game at Yale University.[2]

In a safety squeeze, the runner at third takes a lead, but does not run towards home plate until the batter makes contact bunting. A play at home plate is possible. [1]

In a suicide squeeze, the runner takes off as soon as the pitcher begins the windup to throw the pitch, and before releasing the ball.[1] If properly executed, and the batter bunts the ball nearly anywhere in fair territory on the ground, a play at home plate is extremely unlikely.[3] However, if the batter misses the ball the runner will likely be tagged out, and if the batter pops the ball up a double play is likely.[3]

These plays are often used in the late innings of a close game to score a tying, winning, or insurance run.[3] A pitcher's typical defense against a squeeze play, if he sees the batter getting into position to attempt a bunt, is to throw a high pitch that is difficult to bunt on the ground.[3]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Painting the Black: Suicide is Painless". Baseball Prospectus. November 15, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  2. ^ "Year in Review: 1894 National League". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  3. ^ a b c d "A Bunt and a Prayer". The New York Times. August 20, 2006. Retrieved August 30, 2020.