CHICAGO WHITE SOX- TONY LA RUSSA MAKES UNCERTAIN DECISION TO INTENTIONALLY WALK BATTER WITH 2 STRIKES.
Tony La Russa was yelled at by a fan for the move.
Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa defended his decision to intentionally walk Los Angeles Dodgers batter Trea Turner on a 1-2 count in the sixth inning during their game on Thursday.
Turner had two strikes on him in the sixth inning when La Russa inexplicably decided to call for an intentional walk while left-handed pitcher Bennett Sousa was pitching. La Russa, a Hall of Famer, apparently wanted a lefty-lefty matchup with Sousa facing off against Max Muncy.
The White Sox broadcast caught a fan yelling, “He’s got two strikes, Tony!”
Muncy would answer the challenge with a three-run home run as the Dodgers defeated the White Sox 11-9.
La Russa told reporters he was playing the percentages.
“Is there some question about whether that was good move or not?” he said. “Do you know what (Turner) hits against left-handed pitching with 0-1 or two strikes? Do you know what Muncy hits with two strikes against a left-handed pitcher? Is that really a question? We had an open base and Muncy happened to be the guy behind him and that’s a better matchup. That wasn’t a tough call.”
Turner was hitting .286 with an .831 OPS and two home runs and 12 RBI against lefties. With a 1-2 count, he was batting .256 and struck out 17 times.
Muncy was hitting .125 with a .450 OPS and three RBI against lefties before the home run.
Turner wasn’t sure what was going on. A wild pitch during his at-bat allowed Freddie Freeman to move to second base, leaving Turner open to take first on the intentional walk.
“I was just confused,” Turner said. “I didn’t know if I should go to first or not, but I guess they liked the matchup.”
Los Angeles moved to 37-20 with the win. Chicago well to 26-29.