squeeze play(redirected from a squeeze play)
1. In baseball, a play in which the batter bunts to give a runner on third base a chance to reach home plate and score a run. Primarily heard in US. The botched squeeze play led to the batter and the runner being tagged out. No one was expecting a squeeze play when their star hitter went up to bat.
2. By extension, a situation in which a great deal of pressure is applied to someone or something in order to achieve a certain outcome or goal. With both houses of congress controlled by the opposing political party, the president is now facing a squeeze play regarding the federal budget. The mega corporation is using its vast resources and political influence to initiate a squeeze play against its competition.
A situation in which pressure exerted to obtain a concession or achieve a goal, as in Workers sometimes feel caught in a squeeze play between union and management. This expression, dating from about 1900, originated in baseball, where it refers to a prearranged play in which the runner on third base breaks for home plate on the pitch, and the batter bunts. [c. 1915]
n. a special play in baseball where there is a runner on third base and the batter bunts. (With an early start the runner may reach home plate.) They pulled off that squeeze play like the professionals they are.