Tony La Russa intentionally walks Trea Turner on a 1-2 count and two outs
from Larry Brown Sports, with The Larry Brown, and from YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
Tony La Russa made a decision during Thursday’s game between his Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers that can only be described as completely baffling.
La Russa’s White Sox were trailing 7-5 in the top of the sixth inning. Freddie Freeman was on second with two outs and Trea Turner was at the plate. Reliever Reynaldo Lopez had a 1-2 count on Turner.
Despite his pitcher being in a favorable count, La Russa decided to … intentionally walk Turner. Yes, he did that with two outs and a 1-2 count on Turner.
Even Freeman at second looked confused. So did the White Sox’s announcers.
Tony La Russa decided to intentionally walk Trea Turner on a 1-2 count with two outs, and then Max Muncy came up and hit a three run HR pic.twitter.com/uanxPJ1X1T
— MLB Errors (@mlberrors) June 9, 2022
“Can you explain that to me?” White Sox announcer Jason Benetti asked on air.
If the White Sox wanted to walk Turner to bring up Max Muncy, whom they might have felt was an easier out, that would have made some sense. But you do that at a 0-0 count, not when you have the guy 1-2. That’s what makes no sense at all. Was he just waiting for another reliever to get properly warmed up and then brought him in regardless of the count/situation?
Of course, Muncy then came up and knocked a three-run homer to make it 10-5 Dodgers.
The whole thing makes you wonder: Was La Russa even paying attention?
**********Tony La Russa’s response:**********
“Is there some question about whether that was a good move or not?” La Russa asked reporters Thursday. “Do you know what [Turner] hits against left-handed pitching with one — 0-1 — or two strikes? Do you know what he hits? Do you know what Muncy hits against left-handed pitching? I mean, is that really a question? Because it was 1-2?
“Turner with a strike left against a left-hander is someone you avoid if you can. We had an open base and Muncy happened to be the guy behind him, and that’s a better matchup. If somebody disagrees, that’s the beauty of this game, they’re welcome to it. But that wasn’t a tough call.”
Muncy, 31, was playing in his first MLB game in two weeks after a stint on the injured list due to an elbow injury. The two-time All-Star was off to a rough start to the year with a .150 batting average and three home runs through 41 games. As such, the statistics supported the move with Muncy batting .125 this year against lefties and Turner batting .259 this year when he has two strikes against a lefty.