Did Tony La Russa’s deliberate walk of Trea Turner make it the worst MLB incident? Here’s a ranking

It was as if the intentional walk would be the next Blockbuster, the iPod, and the titanium-infused Phiten necklaces which stabilize the body's energy flow.

But you were wrong! You were wrong! (Except for the epic). Tommy PhamJoc Pederson The fantasy football dispute is, of course, the most trivial non-baseball thing since Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich changed wives in the 1970s.

On Thursday White Sox manager La Russa intentionally walked Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner A runner on the second base A count of one ball and two strike. — To have relief pitcher Bennett Sousa Face instead Max MuncyHe quickly hit a three-run homer to give the Dodgers an 11-9 lead. The highlight of the episode was not only the intentional walk with two strike that exploded in La Russa’s face but also the microphone that captured one fan shouting “He's got two strikes Tony!” “Tony! What are you doing?” Before Muncy was the one who moved in.

Perhaps the best thing was the confused look. Freddie FreemanWhite Sox second baseman,'s expression as he stood on second base. Danny MendickMendick said, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before,” which was met with disbelief by Freeman, who turned his back to Mendick and smiled in equal disbelief. Maybe the best bit was Muncy staring into White Sox's dugout as the White Sox rounded third base. Perhaps the best thing was Muncy's utterances of language that cannot be repeated here, as he crossed home plate. Perhaps the best moment was Muncy's postgame interview on field. One must avoid certain four-letter words and simply say, “I wanted them to pay. Let's just leave it at that.” La Russa asking incredulously after the game, “Is it any question whether that was good move?”

Tony, there was some disbelief. Not just from the fan who predicted what would happen. This is a sampling of a particular social media site.

Fair enough, La Russa gets a lot of pounding. If Muncy strikes it out, it seems like a smart move. Freeman was only on second base after a wild pitch on an 0-2 count. It's not like La Russa decided to walk Turner during the at-bat. Even Ben calculated that the White Sox had 21.9% chance to win if they intentionally walked Turner, and 22.9% if he pitched to them. So we are basically talking about the flipping of the coin.

The intentional walk is a common error in baseball, and it has been largely eliminated from the game. This means that when one goes wrong, it stands out. Studies have shown that an intentional walk is mathematically a poor strategy decision. This is largely because it was part of the Muncy story. An attempt to prevent one run (e.g. Turner bringing home Freeman), often turns into a large, multi-run inning. This basically gives the team a baserunner to use against a weaker batter. It is often a bad idea.

We can clearly see the impact of sabermetric thought in the decline in intentional walks over the years — down to 0.09 per game by 2022

1967: 0.40 per Game (peak intentional Walk)
1989: 0.34 per game (hadn't dropped much)
1998: 0.22 a game (starting drop).
2002: 0.30 a game (the Barry Bonds spike).
2012: 0.22 a game (losing again)
2019: 0.16 per game (A.J. Hinch was unable to issue any for the entire season.
2020: 0.11 a game (no pitchers batting in the NL).
2021: 0.14 per Game (lowest price than 2020).
2022: 0.09 a game (back to universal DH)

This is not the first of many egregious intentional walking incidents. La Russa’s intentional walk isn’t the most bizarre of this season. Maddon has a stunning intentional walk. Corey Seager The bases were loaded back on April 15th. Let's take a look at the different types of intentional walks, ranked from worst to best.

1. The intentional, base-loaded walk
It's absurd to just give the team another run, especially when Seager, the batter, is Seager. Seager, while a great batter, should not be confused with Ted Williams or Bonds. (We'll get to Bonds in a moment). The only bases-loaded intentional walks that have been recorded are to Seager and Josh Hamilton (also by Maddon).Bonds, Bill Nicholson, Mel Ott. That's five. But the Ott one doesn’t really count. It was the final game of the season. Chuck Klein of Phillies, Ott of Giants were competing for the home run lead. (Klein led by 1). The Giants leading by a run late in the game, so the Phillies deliberately walked Ott.

However, the Rangers were ahead 3-2 when Seager walked with one out and the bases loaded. Maddon walked him, making it 4-2. It backfired, not surprising. Two more runs were allowed to score by the Angels after a balk and sacrifice fly. They ended the inning with a deficit of 6-2, but rallied to win. Maddon's slapstick explanation after the game — “Just trying not to cause a major blow and also to stir up the group, quite frankly” — was indefensible.

Buck Showalter's 1998 based-loaded, intentional walk to Bonds was more enviable. However, this wasn't peak Bonds. Managers began walking him instead. All The time — it's amazing 120 walks with an intention The most amazing baseball stat ever recorded was 2004, Bonds was the league's leader in intentional walks from 1992 to 1998 (and several times more after), and he was still a lot to be feared.

With two outs, the Giants were led by the Diamondbacks 8-6. The Giants had bases loaded in the ninth. Showalter walked Bonds, despite Brent Mayne being a weak-hitting catcher. This made it 8-7. Mayne faced Gregg Olson eight times before taking the win. It worked, but not very well. Bravo! Debatable.

2. The intentional walk with 2 strikes
It's difficult to hit in the majors. It is even harder to hit two strikes. Trea Turner is a career.303 hitter. Trea Turner is a career.303 hitter who has two strikes and a career.197 hitter who has a count of 1-2. In 2022, the overall major league average with two strikes is.167. A 1-2 count gives you a.161 average.

It is rare to see a two-strike intentional strike. No matter what matchup, odds favor the pitcher. In his article, Ben mentions only two other two-strike intentional walking events since 2014.

The Rockies followed Seager in a 1-2 count on April 3, 2020. Gavin Lux Second place was taken. It didn't work. Chris Taylor A RBI double followed to give the Dodgers an advantage of 6-4.

–The Twins walked April 16, 2021. Mike Trout After a wild pitch, it was a 1-2 count. This one also went sour. Justin Upton scored a grand slam, extending the Angels' lead to 5-3 to 9-3.

It's best to avoid those two-strike intentional walking sessions.

3. Intentional walk to load bases with the game on line
Managers who do this to me are horrible. Example: Tie Game, bottom of ninth. Runners on second and third. To load the bases, the manager walks a batter — to either make a double play or simply to face a weaker player. Problem is, the pitcher now has to throw strikes as a second walk could result in the loss of the game. My personal views are supported by the numbers, but not as strongly. In 2022, batters hit.256 with runners at second and third base and.262 with all bases loaded (although with an additional 62 points of slugging%). They hit.267 in 2021 with runners on second, third, and.278 with bases loaded. This is why it might make sense to walk someone to face a weaker hitter.

OK, quick check. This season, there have been 13 intentional walks. They were all in the ninth inning. There were two outs. There were runners on second and third. None of these were in tie games. However, three of those came with the team issuing a lead intentional walk.

–April 16: Liam Hendriks Tampa Bay's White Sox is a walk Ji-Man Choi Face with a 3-2 lead Taylor Walls. Walls strikes out.

–April 24: Pittsburgh's David Bednar The Cubs are walking Ian Happ With a 4-3, you can instead face Frank Schwindel. It works. Schwindel tries his best to end it.

–May 15: Diego Castillo Mariners walks Francisco Lindor Face Pete Alonso. Alonso swings on a slider, 3-2 (that was off the plate).

Okay, managers are now 3-for-3 in 2022 with these people. Let's see how that works.

4. Intentional walk to a hot hitter
We mentioned A.J. Hinch. Hinch was the Astros' manager in 2019. They were the first team to not issue an intentional walk throughout the season. Hinch broke his own rule during the World Series. Did It was an intentional walk, and it failed. It was a huge mistake.

Nationals star in the postseason Juan Soto He was 2-for-4 in the final NLCS game, 3-for-4 with a homerun and double in Game 1, and 1-for-3 with a run in the World Series. He had been so far 1-for-3 with a run when he stepped up in the seventh inning of Game 2 with runners at second and third. The Nationals were 3-2 ahead with All-Stars Ryan Pressly Pitching for the Astros. Hinch was fed up with Soto's performance and decided to issue his first intentional walks of 2019, even though Pressly kept left-handed batters to a mere.165 that year.

Howie Kendrick was next with a single. Asdrubal Cabrera Singled in two runs and then Ryan Zimmerman Two more were added. It was a 3-2 win that turned into an 8-2 loss. Although the Nationals may win, consider the ripple effects from that loss. Two reliable relievers were available for the Nationals. Sean Doolittle Daniel HudsonDave Martinez was able to save both of them because of the blowout. This allowed them to be a bit more rested for the remainder of the series. What happens if Pressly pitches Soto?

5. Intentional walk to No. 8 hitters to face the pitcher
Although this one is no longer relevant, it was the reason why the National League saw more intentional walk than the American League. It was popularized in the 1960s and 2000s but slowly fell out of favor. The reason? The math proved that facing the pitcher and hopefully getting him out was not an advantage. The advantage that the opposing team would get by having its leadoff batter lead the next inning made it unpopular. instead If you had the No. 8 hitter out).

Walter Alston, Hall of Fame manager for the Dodgers, must have suddenly realized this late in his career. He was an avid employer of the intentional walks. In fact, he issued 101 of them in 1967 — the majority in the majors. In 1974, he stopped issuing them. He issued just nine, which was the lowest number in the majors, but 43 fewer than any other NL team. Bruce Bochy, who reached 64 intentional walks in 2013, had 46 in his career. However, he dropped to 26 in 2019, his last season. Maddon's first season with the Rays saw him average over 30 intentional walk per season. However, he only had 18 in 2021. He may not have learned his lesson. Nine of them turned out to be “bombs”, which can either refer to the next batter not catching into a double play or multiple runs scoring in an inning.

Only nine out of the 154 intentional walks for 2022 were issued to the No. 8 hitter (5.8%). Last year, pitchers were still batting. 23.0% all intentional walks were granted to the No. 8 hitter.

You could continue as many of the remaining intentional walks categories — getting the platoon edge, giving an intentional walking when you are already trailing (82 percent of them have come while behind), extra innings of a tie-game and the ghost runner on second (very common), — can be continued. For the record, it is not always easy to add up.

Let me make one last point. One final note. The White Sox is tied for second in majors with nine intentional walk issued. Joe Girardi has been fired, and La Russa may be the next hot candidate. The good news is that Mark Kotsay, the new A's manager, leads the majors with thirteen of these intentional walks. Perhaps he can keep it alive.

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