Bryce Harper is the Washington Nationals best hitter, and one of the best hitters in the league. Having him bunt is the height of stupidity.
After leading off the game with a hit, Denard Span was bunted over to second base by Harper. Now, it’s possible that Bryce was trying to bunt for a base hit, a possibly justifiable decision if he intended to keep the league’s third basemen from backing up too far when he bats. Nevertheless, Bryce’s bunt acted as a sacrifice. Span scored on a double by Ryan Zimmerman.
His bunt in the top of the eighth inning was a pure sacrifice. After doubling to lead off the inning, Span was bunted to third by Harper. Span did not score.
Both bunts were stupid. Having your best hitter bunt just feels wrong, right? But the numbers also back it up. Fangraphs, which calculates in-game win probabilities, determined that both of Harpers bunts hurt the Nationals chances of winning the game.
The first bunt lowered the Nationals win probability from 53.8% to 52.2%. See below:
Harper’s second bunt lowered the Nationals win probability from 83.6% to 83.4%. See below:
The point I’m trying to make is, bunting is stupid. Say No to bunting.