HomeSportsThe Braves' bizarre record streak finally comes to an end with the...

The Braves’ bizarre record streak finally comes to an end with the first sacrifice bunt of the season


Baseball has changed tremendously in recent years. In today’s game, the art of playing is essentially lost.

The Atlanta Braves had 32 sacrifice bunts last year, the 11th-most in baseball during their World Series-winning campaign.

This year, however, they have ditched the small ball.

Atlanta Braves catcher William Contreras (24) tries to bunt out in the 10th inning during a game against the San Diego Padres on May 15, 2022 at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia.
(John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Braves didn’t have a successful sacrifice bunt all season until Tuesday night, when rookie Michael Harris snapped the streak.

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In the top of the fourth inning, while leading the Miami Marlins 1-0, the Braves led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Harris bunted, advancing both runners.

It didn’t work. After Robbie Grossman struck out, the Marlins intentionally walked Ronald Acuña Jr. to face Dansby Swanson, who also struck out to end the inning.

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The 160 consecutive games without a successful sacrifice bunt was the longest streak in MLB history, surpassing the 137-game streak set by the New York Yankees from July 3, 2019, to September 25, 2020.

Michael Harris II of the Atlanta Braves watches against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 23, 2022 in Philadelphia.

Michael Harris II of the Atlanta Braves watches against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 23, 2022 in Philadelphia.
(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The last time the Braves successfully bunted was in the final game of last season. Pitcher Spencer Strider made a bunt in that game.

With the evolution of baseball and the addition of the designated hitter to the National League, bunts are at an all time low. Starting Tuesday, there have only been 385 bunts in the majors this season, compared to 766 last year. The league average last year was 38 sacrifices per team. This season? Thirteen.

But the strategy is working for the Braves. They clinched their fifth straight NL East title on Tuesday and have the best record in baseball since June 1 at 78-33.

Michael Harris II of the Atlanta Braves bats against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 23, 2022 in Philadelphia.

Michael Harris II of the Atlanta Braves bats against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 23, 2022 in Philadelphia.
(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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This season, only 11 MLB teams have more than 13 sacrifices. Eight of those teams will not play in the postseason. Of the 19 teams below average in sacrifices, nine will play in a World Series.



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