Monday, September 30, 2013
Andrus on bunt: 'I'm still thinking about it'
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- In the aftermath of Monday's 5-2 loss in the American League wild-card tiebreaker game, Elvis Andrus found himself second-guessing a decision to bunt for a base hit while representing the tying run in the bottom of the eighth.
Andrus was batting with one out after Ian Kinsler smoked a double into the left-field corner. The Rangers trailed 4-2 and had Nos. 3 and 4 hitters Alex Rios and Adrian Beltre coming up after Andrus.
Andrus tried to push a bunt past Tampa Bay Rays starter David Price, but it didn't spin enough toward the first-base line, allowing the Rays pitcher to glove the ball and flip it to first for the second out of the inning. Rios grounded out to shortstop to end the threat and the Rangers' best chance to tie the game.
Tampa Bay stole a run in the top of the ninth when Sam Fuld stole third and scored on Tanner Scheppers' errant throw. The Rangers went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth with Nelson Cruz making the final out.
Andrus was asked after the game why he bunted.
"I don't know actually," Andrus said. "I'm still thinking about it. I'm still mad at myself right now, especially in that situation, facing that guy. I feel great, and I guess I saw the big picture: me getting on base and getting a big inning. I learned from that, for sure. I know what to do next time it happens."
Andrus probably wouldn't have been questioning himself during the first half of the season when he struggled offensively. Bunting might have been his best decision.
But he was dynamic after the All-Star break. He was a catalyst for the Rangers' offense, batting .314 with 36 RBIs and 40 runs scored.
Andrus said no one questioned his decision when he got back to the dugout.
"They know that I always play for the team and play to win the game," Andrus said.