BRONX, NY — There’s no shame in laying down a bunt for your first career hit in the bigs. After all, the greatest player of this generation did it.
Blake Sabol knows that first-hand.
“I was just talking with the team,” Sabol said after San Francisco’s 7-5 win, “and I was like, ‘You know, I was actually at Mike Trout’s first game at Angel Stadium, and he laid down a bunt for his first hit.”
Sabol, a Southern California native, was sitting on the third base side when Trout laid down a bunt. That was 1407 hits ago for the three-time American League MVP.
“I would love to have that type of career,” Sabol said with a smile. “The ball’s in my court, right?”
Sabol’s first hit came with two outs and a man on first in the second inning. He wasn’t planning on squaring up to bunt, but noticed Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson playing deep and shaded toward shortstop.
In a 3-1 count, Sabol decided that the best way to reach base was to bunt.
“It’s a part of my game,” Sabol said. “It wasn’t something that was pre-meditated or planned. I’m always looking, just in case.”
Sabol’s single wasn’t a perfect bunt down the third base line, but did the job based on Donaldson’s positioning.
But hey, neither was Trout’s. After speaking with reporters, Sabol pulled out his phone and showed the Youtube video of Trout’s bunt, which was already queued up.
When Sabol arrived on first base, three-time All-Star Anthony Rizzo congratulated him.
“He said ‘Hey man, they all count the same so don’t let anyone tell you different,'” Sabol said. “I was like, ‘Yeah, I got all of that one.'”
Sabol got the ball from his first hit, plus the jersey he played in during his debut on Thursday. He said he’s planning on giving both to his parents for safe keeping.
The Rule 5 acquisition finished 1-for-2 with a deep fly out to left field.
“Almost always, I love that play,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “It’s a little bit of a challenge in a 3-1 count in that situation. But, if we tell our players that the name of the game is not making outs — that’s the number one thing that they can do to contribute to success for the Giants — then we have to be comfortable with them taking liberties like the one that Blake took.”