Anthopoulos mourns Braves' lone sacrifice bunt of 2022: 'They were crushed'
The Atlanta Braves very nearly went the entire 2022 campaign without laying down a sacrifice bunt. Then, in the penultimate game of the season, Michael Harris II laid one down against the Miami Marlins.
"I was in the clubhouse, and our players were there. And they were all talking about it, and they were (saying), 'Don't do it! Don't do it!'" Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Thursday, recalling the final road trip of the year. "They wanted to get the streak. They were crushed."
Harris' bunt - which came in Game 161 with nobody out and advanced runners to second and third - proved to be the only one by a Braves player all year. It also proved to be unproductive, as Robbie Grossman and Dansby Swanson struck out to strand the runners in a scoreless fourth.
"(Going an entire season without a sacrifice bunt) was not by design, I don't want to speak for (manager Brian Snitker)," Anthopoulos continued, defending his veteran skipper. "We were up there in runs scored and so on, but there's times to do it."
Though the Braves didn't avoid sacrifice bunts entirely, they still set the record for fewest in a single season with at least 160 games played. The 2022 Los Angeles Dodgers finished with three to rank second all time, while the 2022 Marlins and 2019 Los Angeles Angels are tied for third with four.
With the full-time introduction of the universal designated hitter, the 2022 MLB season featured the fewest sacrifice bunts leaguewide in a full campaign since tracking began in 1895.