10/02/2003 2:50 PM ET
A's game-winner: no squeeze
OAKLAND -- No, it wasn't a squeeze bunt.
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
With two outs, it couldn't be.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, official statisticians of Major League Baseball, Ramon Hernandez's game-winning bunt single with two out and the bases loaded in the 12th inning was a bunt and a single. Not a squeeze or a suicide squeeze or sacrifice or anything else.
According to Seymour Siwoff, president of Elias, the overriding principle of a squeeze is the act of "giving yourself up" to score the runner from third. But with two outs, Hernandez had to reach first base safely for the run to score, so he was not giving himself up. Officially, according to Siwoff, the term "squeeze" is baseball vernacular and not a rule of scoring.
Suicide squeeze bunts require the runner on third base to break for the plate with the pitch to maximize his chances of beating a throw home. It can be "suicide" if the batter fails to make contact, because the runner is too far from third base to retreat.
Eric Chavez, who ultimately scored the winning run, did not head home until Hernandez's bat had made contact with the Derek Lowe pitch. In a situation with fewer than two outs, that would be considered a safety squeeze, as the runner has the option of running or holding.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This article was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.