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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

The Benefits of Cardinals Bunting

On Saturday, the St. Louis Cardinals finally gave fans a glimpse of what the promise of speed in the 2014 lineup could mean in a tight game. Several Redbirds made key plays with their legs to key the 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

None were more prominent than Kolten Wong and Peter Bourjos. The second baseman and center fielder each had a pair of bunt singles, three of them fueling Cardinals rallies.

Wong set up the tying run by beating out a bunt to lead off the fourth. He scored all the way from second on a pop up to shallow right. Wong squared around for another hit in the sixth and stealing second, drew a wild throw from Braves catcher Evan Gattis. That enabled him to come home with the go-ahead run.

Bourjos was picked off after beating out a bunt leading off the third, but squeezed home an insurance run in the seventh. Earlier, I wrote about his past bunting success, wondering why he has not tried it more frequently.

The Cardinals’ four bunt hits in a game set a new team record. The prior high of three had been accomplished six times since 1938. Thanks to researcher Tom Orf, they follow.

Most bunt hits in a game, St. Louis Cardinals, team history

Date Bunter Team Opp Pitcher Score Inn
1961-07-30 (2) Bob Gibson @MLN Warren Spahn down 1-0 t5
1961-07-30 (2) Bob Lillis @MLN Warren Spahn tied 2-2 t7
1961-07-30 (2) Julian Javier @MLN Warren Spahn tied 2-2 t9
5 13 86 Tom Herr LAD Jerry Reuss ahead 0-2 b4
5 13 86 Vince Coleman LAD Jerry Reuss ahead 0-2 b5
5 13 86 Vince Coleman LAD Ken Howell tied 2-2 b8
7 15 89 Milt Thompson @LAD Fernando Valenzuela tied 0-0 t5
7 15 89 Vince Coleman @LAD Fernando Valenzuela tied 0-0 t8
7 15 89 Jose Oquendo @LAD Fernando Valenzuela tied 0-0 t8
1944-06-04 (1) Johnny Hopp @PHI Charley Schanz tied 0-0 t1
1944-06-04 (1) Johnny Hopp @PHI Charley Schanz ahead 0-4 t4
1944-06-04 (1) George Fallon @PHI Ken Raffensberger ahead 2-4 t8
8 15 49 Harry Brecheen @CHC Bob Chipman tied 0-0 t3
8 15 49 Tommy Glaviano @CHC Bob Chipman ahead 0-2 t4
8 15 49 Harry Brecheen @CHC Bob Chipman ahead 0-2 t4
6 08 54 Wally Moon BRO Carl Erskine tied 1-1 b3
6 08 54 Alex Grammas BRO Erv Palica ahead 3-8 b7
6 08 54 Stu Miller BRO Erv Palica ahead 3-8 b7

This was just the 15th time overall that even one Cardinal had two bunt hits in a game. It was last accomplished almost exactly a decade ago, by Abraham Nunez on May 31, 2005.

Mark Tomasik from Retrosimba added that the pair are the first National League players to get two bunt hits each in a game in 23 years. The most recent to do it prior to Saturday were Craig Biggio and Steve Finley of the 1991 Houston Astros.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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3 Responses to “The Benefits of Cardinals Bunting”

  1. crdswmn says:

    That’s the most fun I’ve had watching a game in a very long time.

    It’s not something you want to overdo, but when it works, it works beautifully.

  2. Bw52 says:

    Nice game from Wainwright last nite.Plus the offense hit a couple of HRS.Maybe some hitters are waking up.Maybe

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    Barely winning at home against the hapless Dbacks and with Wacha starting is just woeful. As soon as Oscar is past Super 2 status, we need to bring him up. Oscar can collect some at bats from Craig and Holliday by providing another left swinger against starting RHPs.
    We could also elevate Aardsma and let Martinez gain some more experience with Memphis. Martinez is shaky. Wild pitches, hit batters, dingers. Who cares about his MPH, if he is not getting the job done.

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