Was Toni La Russa’s deliberate run for Tria Turner the worst in MLS history? ranking

And you’d think intentional walking took the path of the Blockbuster, the iPod and the titanium-infused Phiten necklaces that stabilize the body’s energy flow.

I was wrong! Turns out, the deliberate walk is still part of the game — and thanks to Joe Maddon and now Tony La Russa, it gave us one of the most comic and controversial moments of the season. (Well, aside from the epic fantasy football controversy Tommy Fam-Jock Pederson, which of course reigns as the most non-baseball game since Yankees pitches Mike Kekech and Fritz Peterson changed their wives in the ’70s.)

On Thursday, White Sox manager La Rosa purposely walked the Dodgers short Tria Turner with a runner at second base – Promise one ball and two hits – In order to have comfortable bowler Bennett Sousa facing instead Max Muncie, who immediately hit a home three-run to give the Dodgers a 10-5 lead in a game they would eventually win 11-9. The best part about the entire episode wasn’t that the deliberate two-stroke rally exploded in La Rosa’s face; It was the microphone that made one fan shout “He’s got two hits, Tony!” and “Tony, what are you doing?” Before Homerid.

Or perhaps the best part was the confused look on Freddy Freeman’s face as he stood at second base and said to second baseman at White Sox Danny Mendyk, “I don’t think I’ve seen that before,” to which Mendick turned somewhat away from Freeman and smiled, probably In the same disbelief. Or perhaps the best part was Muncy staring at the White Sox’s lair as he circled third base. Or perhaps the best part was Muncy’s pronunciation that can’t be repeated here as he crosses the house board. Or perhaps the best part was Muncy, in his post-match interview on the field, where one must refrain from using some four-letter words, and simply say, “I wanted to make them pay, let’s leave it at that.” Or perhaps the best moment was La Rosa’s, after the match, when he asked incredulously, “Is there some questioning whether or not this was a good move?”

Yes, Tony, there was a fair amount of disbelief, and not just from the fan who seemed to be predicting what was going to happen. Sampling of a specific social media site:

Now, to be fair here, the bombing of La Rosa is also a bit unfair. If Muncie gets out, it looks like a good move. Plus, Freeman was only at second base after Wild Court with a 0-2 score – it’s not as if La Rossa randomly decided to walk with Turner mid-ball. Even Ben calculates that the White Sox had a 21.9% chance of winning if they deliberately walked with Turner and 22.9% if they offered him, so we’re basically talking about flipping the coin.

I think what really impressed everyone—especially baseball cognoscenti on Twitter—is that deliberate walking has pretty much disappeared from the game, so when one swerves painfully, it stands out. Studies have shown that deliberate walking–mathematically–is usually a poor strategic decision, in large part because of what happened with Muncy: an attempt to prevent a single run, as with Turner’s singles home Freeman, often turns instead into a large, multiple Running in half. Basically, giving a team a free kicker, even to take on a weaker hitter, is rarely a good idea.

In fact, we can see the impact of probing thinking on intentional walking declines through the years – all the way down to just 0.09 per game in 2022:

1967: 0.40 per game (peak intended walk)
1989: 0.34 per game (didn’t drop that much)
1998: 0.22 per game (decline started)
2002: 0.30 per game (Barry Bonds height)
2012: 0.22 per game (falls again)
2019: 0.16 per game (AJ Hinch issues zero all season)
2020: 0.11 per game (no bowlers in the Premier League)
2021: 0.14 per game (lowest level other than 2020)
2022: 0.09 per game (back to global DH)

In truth, there have been intentional paths far more terrible than these. Honestly, La Russa’s intentional walk isn’t even the weirdest of the season – which belongs to Maddon, for his ridiculously amazing intentional walk with Corey Seager with the bases uploaded back on April 15th. Running intentional walking types from most bad to least bad:

1. The rules of intentional walking tee
Obviously just giving the team another run is ridiculous – especially when the hitter is a Seager – while he’s a very good racket, not to be confused with Babe Ruth, Ted Williams or Bonds (we’ll get to that in a second). This is why the only known intentional tracks loaded with rules are to Seager, Josh Hamilton (also by Maddon!), Bonds, Bill Nicholson, and Mel Ott. That’s five. And not a single out is really counted. It was the next game of the season and Chuck Cline of the Phillies and the Out of the Giants battled for the top spot at home (led by Clyne with one team). With the Giants advancing late in the game, Velez purposely walked into Ott.

Anyway, the Rangers were up 3-2 when Seeger struggled by one difference and the rules were loaded. Madonne walked with him to score 4-2. Not shockingly, it backfired. A fly followed and a refusal to allow two more runs to score, so the Angels left the inning 6-2 late (although they rallied to win the match). Regardless of Maddon’s interpretation of the goof after the match – “just trying to get away from the big hit, and also to tease the group, quite frankly” – this move was completely untenable.

The most defensible defense was Buck Showalter’s deliberate, base-loaded walk to the Bonds in 1998. This wasn’t quite the height of Bond, when managers got scared and started walking with him. All Time – unbelievable 120 deliberate walks in 2004, which will forever remain the most amazing baseball stat of all time. But Bonds led the league in deliberate walking runs every season from 1992 through 1998 (and several times thereafter) — he was still very much feared by then.

In this game, the Diamondbacks led the Giants 8-6 with two wins and the bases were loaded into the bottom ninth place. With weak fisherman Brent Mayne on board, Showalter marched on the Bonds to make it 8-7. Maine loyalist Greg Olson fought for eight pitches before lining up on the right court. So it worked… hardly. good movement? negotiable.

2. Deliberate two-stroke walking
It’s hard to beat the majors. It’s even harder to hit two hits! Tria Turner is a career .303 hitter. He is a .22 hitter with two hits and a .197 hitter with a 1-2 count. The major league average in 2022 with two hits was .167 and .161 on a 1-2 account.

This is why you rarely see intentional two-stroke walking. The odds remain in favor of the bowler, regardless of the match. In his article, Ben mentions two other intentional marches since 2014:

– The Rockies marched on Seager after a 1-2 count on April 3, 2021, after Gavin Lux stole second place. This also did not work; Chris Taylor followed up with an RBI double to give the Dodgers a 6-4 lead.

– On April 16, 2021, twins Mike Trout walked in a 1-2 sprint after a wild ride. This also exploded. Justin Upton hit a Grand Slam to boost the Angels’ 5-3 lead to 9-3.

Yes, it is probably best to avoid those intentional two-stroke lanes.

3. Deliberate walking to load the rules into the game on the line
I hate, hate, hate when managers do this. Example: a tie game, down the ninth, the runners in the second and third. The manager walks in with his hit to load the bases – either to set up a double play or maybe just to take on a weaker hitter. The problem now is that the shooter has to take hits, because another walk loses the game. The numbers support my personal beliefs slightly, though not strongly: In 2022, the hitter hit .256 with runners in second and third and .262 with loaded bases (despite an additional 62 points from the sluggish percentage). In 2021, they hit 0.267 with runners in second and third and 278 with base loading. Directing someone to take on a weaker hitter might make sense here.

Well, quick check. There have been 13 walks intended this season in the ninth inning or after, with two runners finishing second and third or first and third. None of those actually came into tie games. But three came with the deliberately marching team version:

April 16: White Sox’s Liam Hendrix walks Tampa Bay’s Ji-Man Choi by 3-2 to face Taylor Walls. The walls are hitting.

April 24: Pittsburgh’s David Bednar walks past Ian Haup of the Cubs by 4-3 to instead face Frank Schweindel. It works with Schwendel strikes to finish the game.

May 15: Diego Castillo of the Mariners goes to Francisco Lindor to face Pete Alonso. Alonso swings 3-2 on the slide (that was off the board).

OK, OK: 3 for 3 managers are with those so far in 2022. Let’s see if that’s true.

4. Deliberate walking into a hot hitter
We mentioned AJ Hinch. When he was managing the Astros in 2019, they became the first team not to issue an intentional all-season outing. Then, at the World Championships, Hinch broke his rule and she did He issued a deliberate round – and it didn’t work. in a big way.

In that post-season, Nationals star Juan Soto had gone 2-4 in the NLCS Final, 3-on-4 with a home run and a double in Game 1 of the World Championships and had so far been 1 for 3 with a double when he went up again in the inning The seventh of Match 2, with two naysayers and two runners on the second and third. The Nationals led 3-2 with All-Star Ryan Presley for the Astros. Hinch saw enough of Soto and decided it was time to release his first intentional run of 2019 – although Pressly grabbed left-handers at a rate of 0.165 that year.

Howie Kendrick followed with one song, singles Asdrubal Cabrera on two tours, then Ryan Zimmerman sorted two more. The match 3-2 became an 8-2 score. The citizens might win anyway, but consider the ripple effects of that loss. The Nationals only had two trusted sedatives in Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson, but as the game turned out to be a blast, Dave Martinez didn’t have to use either—which made them a little more comfortable for the rest of the series. What would happen if Presley made offers to Soto?

5. Deliberately walking to the 8th hitter to face the bowler
This doesn’t apply anymore, but it has always been the reason the National League saw more intentional walking than the MLS. Despite its popularity in the 1960s and into the 2000s, it slowly fell into some resentment. Reason: Math showed that the advantage gained by facing the bowler (and hopefully taking him out) was wiped out by the advantage the other team would have through the hitter’s lead in the next game While that From the pitcher (if you get hitter #8).

Late in his career, Hall of Fame director Walter Alston must have suddenly realized this. He’s always been a big employer of intentional bios, including the release of 101 of them in 1967, mostly in majors. In 1974, he abruptly stopped releasing them—only nine, fewer in majors and 43 fewer than any other NL team. Most recently, Bruce Bochy peaked at 64 intended walks in 2013 and averaged 46 times per season over the course of his career, but dropped to 26 in his final season in 2019. Maddon started his career with the Rays averaging over 30 walks Intended per season, but only had 18 in 2021. Although he may not have learned his lesson. Nine of those turned out to be “bombs,” described as either the next hit not grounding in a double play or multiple runs scored in the first inning.

Of the 154 hits intended in 2022, only nine were issued to the No. 8 hitter (5.8%). Last year, when shooters were still hitting. 23.0% of all intentional walking rounds were issued to the #8 hitter.

We can continue, but most of the remaining intentional walking categories — getting a platoon advantage, doing intentional walking when already behind (82 of them have come behind) or extra rounds of tie-and-ghost runners already in second place (very common) — aren’t offensive. (For the record: Math is still usually useless.)

One last note. The White Sox and the Phillies were tied for second place in the majors with the release of nine intentional walking tours – but Joe Girardi was kicked out and La Russa may be in the hot seat. There’s good news for fans of intentional walking: Mark Kotsai, director of New A, leads the big business with 13 of them. Perhaps he can keep the deliberate walk alive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.