Part of what makes baseball great is that you'll see just about everything possible over the course of the 162-game MLB season, no matter how odd it may be. Those who tuned into Thursday's White Sox-Dodgers matinee were treated to such an instance when Tony La Russa made the kind of decision that makes one question the reality we live in.
The situation: Los Angeles was up 7-5 on the home team in the top of the sixth. The Dodgers had a man on second with two outs. Trae Turner was at the plate, a frightening proposition given he's hitting .303 and has recorded 45 RBI through 56 games so far this year. But Chicago relief pitcher Bennett Sousa was unfazed and managed to corner Turner with a 1-2 count.
Make sure you have that right: two outs and a two-strike count.
Enter Tony La Russa. Who, for some reason, decided it was the time to intentionally walk Turner. And guess what happened next? A two-run jack from Max Muncy.
I will be the first to admit that my baseball knowledge and expertise pales in comparison to my fellow writers at TBL -- especially those who participate in men's leagues -- but I simply cannot for the life of me understand this. Yeah, intentionally walking Turner with first base open isn't a bad idea on its own. But after you get him into a two-strike hole??? Why! Why would you do this!
To be honest I've rarely seen a more swift judgement passed down by the baseball gods, either. La Russa played stupid games and won a stupid prize by virtue of a four-run deficit instead of just two. You'd think a guy who has been in the big leagues literally since the Civil Rights Movement would've figured out the finer points of the game by now.