May 26, 2001
With Arizona’s Curt Schilling bidding for a perfect game, Ben Davis drops down a bunt single in the eighth inning, giving the Padres their first baserunner of the contest.
The Diamondbacks were up 2-0 at the time, and there was much debate about Davis’ play afterwards. Given that it brought the tying run to the plate with one out in the frame, it sure seemed like a smart move from Davis. However, many Diamondbacks veterans disagreed and manager Bob Brenly called it “chicken.”
Working from the stretch for the first time all day, Schilling walked the next batter he faced, Bubba Trammell, before retiring Dave Magadan and Mike Darr to end the inning. After a Reggie Sanders homer in the top of the ninth gave the Diamondbacks a 3-0 lead, Schilling gave up two clean hits and a sac fly in the bottom of the ninth before winning 3-1.
What may surprise many is that Schilling, who never did get his no-hitter (while pitching for the Red Sox in 2007, he lost one against the A’s with two outs in the ninth), didn’t much to say about it at the time. Asked on Twitter about the incident earlier this year, he wrote:
Ben Davis bunt? I never uttered a word beyond “It was surprising”, left it to others to judge. Didn’t care beyond the W, but I had insane stuff that night, hit a gnats ass, split was dropping a foot, couldn’t miss spots, happened about 5 times in my life, no bunt and imo no no
As for Davis, the second overall pick in the 1995 draft, the bunt is what he’s best known for 10 years later. He last played in the majors at age 27 in 2004. In 2008, he tried taking his powerful arm to the mound, and he went 5-11 with a 4.61 ERA for the Camden Riversharks of the independent Atlantic League in 2010.