Don't Bunt to Break Up a No-Hitter, No-Hitter Etiquette

Dee Gordon Swings Away Because of No-Bunting-During-a-No-Hitter Rule, Gets a Hit Anyway

Gordon hits

Baseball’s unwritten rules have a pervasive role in the fabric of the sport, helping to maintain a degree of respect and decorum. That part is good. But sometimes they’re just stupid.

Take yesterday. In the sixth inning of the Nationals-Marlins game, with Washington’s Gio Gonzalez throwing a no-hitter, Florida’s Dee Gordon thought about trying to bunt for a hit.

Typically, this is a no-no. We’ve already looked back this season at the infamous Ben Davis bunt that broke up Curt Schilling’s perfect game in 2001.

Except that Davis was a slow-footed catcher who had never bunted for a hit in his life. Gordon is second in the National League with 38 steals, a player for whom bunting is an essential tool. Also, it was a 1-0 game and Gordon represented the tying run.

“My game is to bunt,” Gordon said in a Miami Herald report, discussing his consternation over the unwritten rules. “I didn’t know if I could bunt or not. I was kind of in a weird situation for myself.”

Gordon didn’t bunt. Instead, he struck out. When he came up again in the ninth, Gonzalez’s no-hitter was still intact. Gordon didn’t even consider bunting.

Instead, he slashed a single to left field, Code be damned.

5 thoughts on “Dee Gordon Swings Away Because of No-Bunting-During-a-No-Hitter Rule, Gets a Hit Anyway

  1. Very interesting to hear Gordon’s thoughts. Someone on the TV broadcast — I think it was F.P. Santangelo — repeated several times that a bunt would be fair game, given that the score was 1-0. Obviously Dee has been around the game long enough to have had doubt about that assessment.

    1. So nice of you to check in, Ben Davis, who is clearly the Real Ben Davis and not at all an impostor. FP knows a lot about the topic — even if I occasionally disagree with him, his opinions are rooted in experience. Happily, I back him entirely on this one.

  2. Due to the headline, I thought Dee Gordon swung away, but then got plunked anyway, and I had no idea why… because Gonzalez was ultra-sensitive? Ah, right, he got a hit despite his thoughts about bunting for a hit. Got it.

  3. Thanks to your astute observation, I have amended the headline to be more clear. Amazing what a single letter (in this case, “a”) can do.

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