The "contact play" makes a ton of sense at the amateur level where good throws are far from guaranteed. In the Major Leagues, it's not so black and white - barring truly horrible conditions, most guys will execute routine plays for the out.
The question then is when to incorporate the "contact play."
For those who aren’t familiar, the “contact play” is when a runner on 3rd breaks for home as soon as bat hits ball (except on a fly ball or line drive if read properly). The idea is to force the defense into making a mistake or not having the time to throw out the guy streaking home.
|In general, the Brewers make far too many outs at the plate |
considering how good their offense has been.
On Sunday , the Brewers had 1st and 3rd with 1 out of a tie game in the top of the 9th inning. Jean Segura hit a chopper over the pitcher’s mound where Edward Mujica made a nice play to snag the ball and fire a strike to the plate, cutting down Yuniesky Betancourt.
2011 - 27 outs at home (3rd)
2012 - 24 outs at home (4th)
2013 - 3 outs at home (1st)
For example, with runners on the corners and 1 out – like Sunday’s scenario – the runner needs to take off for the plate to give the defense a decision to make: throw home for the single out or try to turn a double play to end the inning.
Offensively, clearly you’d rather it be 1st and 2nd with 2 outs than the end of the frame. Plus, if the ‘D’ makes an errant throw home or can’t turn two, you steal a run.
| Milwaukee made the 2nd-most outs|
on the bases in 2012
A case of appropriate aggressiveness in most cases such as this.
|Roenicke and company would be wise to be more|
selective in their risk-taking and trust the bats
- Runners at 1st and 3rd with 1 out is the perfect time for the contact play.
- Runners on the corners with 0 outs, it really matters who is up next. A great hitter like Braun or a legitimate power threat, you should take off for home to either steal the run or force them to face the batter with 2 runners on base, as that is the ultimate goal – have your best hitters up with men on base.
- Infield in with no double play opportunity, please stay on 3rd. Infield back, only if you get a jump and the ball isn’t hit directly at the 3rd baseman or pitcher.