Watch: Gerardo Parra bunts for a double
The Diamondbacks and Mets headed into extra innings tied 2-2 in their Independence Day afternoon tilt. Arizona scored both of their runs on a Wil Nieves single off Dillon Gee in the top of the fifth inning. How did those two runs get into scoring position? Well, Gerardo Parra followed a Cody Ross walk with this:
This play worked in part because Ross was on base and in motion, meaning he both forced first baseman Josh Satin to hold him on and drew second baseman Daniel Murphy toward the bag, opening the right side of the infield for Parra’s perfectly-placed power-bunt (if there is such a thing, that was one).
The replay at the end of the video, however, suggests that the rookie Satin, who was drafted as a second baseman and didn’t play the majority of his games at first base until 2012, froze on the play, ultimately opting to cover first base and hope that Murphy could get to the ball. Most likely the speedy Parra would have been safe at first even if Satin had gloved the ball, and it’s likely the ball would have gotten by him anyway. Still, that moment of indecision may have been what let the ball get through.
What turned it into a double was that the ball finally acted like a bunt when it hit the outfield grass and died, by which point Parra was already rounding first base. That is to say that Parra, thanks to a perfect combination of strategy, execution, and athleticism, legitimately bunted for a double.
Thanks to that play, the Mets and Diamondbacks are heading into the 12th inning as I write this.