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Why no bunty on Miggy

Thearon W. Henderson

Have you been wondering why the Red Sox haven't been bunting in the general direction of Miguel Cabrera, whose mobility of late falls somewhere between a tortoise and a fire hydrant? I have. Fortunately for Curious Georges like me and you, The Providence Journal's Brian MacPherson asked John Farrell about this ...

"Against the guys that are bunting threats, he's been damn near even with the mound," Boston manager John Farrell said. "He's 45 feet from home plate in some cases. In that way, we're probably more willing to try to hit a ball by him than to bunt into what would be his own self-imposed shift."

The lack of comfort that the Red Sox players who aren't bunting threats -- everyone other than Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino, in other words -- have with bunting plays into that thinking, particularly given the velocity the Detroit starters have shown.

"We're facing guys that throw mid- to upper-90s," Farrell said. "To think, 'Hey, let's just go ahead and bunt it,' it's not that (expletive) easy."

Hey, those are fair points. Along with an avenue for study. Everybody says it's more difficult to bunt against a particularly fast fastball, and it seems like it would be. But is it? There's plenty of data, especially in the National League. But it does seem logical to assume that the faster the fastball, the harder everything becomes: hitting the baseball, bunting the baseball, hitting the baseball in a specific direction (i.e. past the drawn-in third baseman).

I suspect the Red Sox would figure out a way to take advantage of Cabrera's infirmities ... if only those Detroit pitchers didn't all throw so damned hard. And let's all thank John Farrell for reminding us these things aren't that (expletive) easy.