Baseball's half-hit. One of the great strategic
managerial plays. It's all but dead now in this era of mammoth home runs
and ten run innings.
How To Bunt:
As late in the pitcher's windup as possible, so as not to give away the fact that you are bunting, turn your entire body so that you are facing the pitcher. Your feet should be pointing towards the mound. Slide your top hand up to the barrel of the bat, pinching it from the back with two fingers. (Note: do not put any part of your hand in front of the bat, unless you want to break your fingers). Keep the barrel of the bat angled slightly upwards. When the ball comes in, do not push the bat out at the ball. Let the ball come into the bat, almost as thought you were trying to catch the ball with your bat. The result of this will be a wonderfully bunted ball that will travel a very short distance.
If you make contact with a pitch while standing on home plate, you are automatically out. If you bunt a ball foul with two strikes, you are automatically out. If you bunt a ball while outside the batter's box, you are automatically out. And if you do not pull your bat back, the pitch is automatically a strike.
The primary use of the bunt is to sacrifice an out in order to move runners into "scoring position" (second or third base). Bunting is also more prevalent in the National League, where weak hitting pitchers bat. With the sacrifice bunt, you don't have to worry about much other than making contact. Try not to hit the ball too hard, though. A successful sacrifice bunt does not count as an at-bat, so it does not hurt the hitter's batting average.
The idea behind the drag bunt is that you are bunting for a base hit. You do now want to sacrifice an out here. Keep the bat in until the last possible second, and do not square your body around to the pitcher. When the pitch comes in, try to bunt the ball while running towards first. In this case, you actually DO push the ball towards the bat. You're trying to get it past the pitcher to a spot where only the second baseman has a play. The most successful drag bunter will be the left-handed hitter, as he is already several steps closer to first base than a righty hitter.
There are two types of squeeze bunts: the safety squeeze and the suicide squeeze. In both cases, a runner is at third base with less than two outs. The bunter bunts the ball the same way he would for a normal sacrifice, this time with the intention of scoring the runner from third. There's a big difference between this and a normal sacrifice, though. On a suicide squeeze, the runner at third is running on the pitch. If the defense calls for a pitch out, or the batter misses the ball, the runner coming home will certainly be tagged out. On a safety squeeze, the runner waits until the ball is actually bunted before breaking home. The safety squeeze has a lower success rate, but will keep a team from running into outs.