It’s not often that a bunt makes for a worthy standalone highlight. Chicago White Sox rookie Jose Rondon can’t be denied though after executing what might go down as the “perfect bunt” during Friday’s 1-0 win against Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox.
Not surprisingly, the White Sox weren’t getting much offense going against their former ace. In the sixth inning, Rondon decided he was going to change that by challenging Sale and the Red Sox defense with a bunt down the third base line.
The right-handed batter squared around as Sale unleashed a 97-mph fastball and laid it down beautifully. The play almost seemed like it was developing in slow motion. The baseball hugged the line for roughly 89 of the 90 feet. At times it even briefly teetered into foul territory. When it was time to rest, it settled entirely on the chalk.
When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing Rondon even got the ball down. It’s easy to sit here and say that’s his job. He’s a professional baseball player. He should be able to execute bunts at will. In doing that though, we’ve overlooking that the men throwing the baseballs they’re attempting to bunt are professionals too. Often times they’re throwing 95+ mph, and they’re usually pretty good at missing bats.
In fact, Sale was humming the ball like never before in Friday’s game. The Fenway Park radar gun registered Sale at 100.3 mph on a strikeout pitch to Daniel Palka. That’s the fastest pitch of his MLB career.
That's Chris Sale's fastest pitch EVER. pic.twitter.com/2XQRbdHwPY
— MLB (@MLB) June 9, 2018
Sale’s adrenaline was definitely pumping. He was obviously very good too, allowing just the one run on six hits while striking out 10 over his eight innings. Dylan Covey was just a little better. The 26-year-old right-hander tossed six scoreless to earn his second MLB win.
As for the bunt. There have been many superb bunts before Jose Rondon’s gem on Friday. Kyle Schwarber’s baseline hugger from last season comes to mind immediately. But when you factor in opponent and outcome, it’s difficult to imagine one being any better than this.
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