Quick Bit: La Russa called for Turner to be intentionally walked on a 1-2 count. Max Muncy immediately made the White Sox pay.

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Tony La Russa made a very odd strategic move in the middle of the White Sox’s game against the Dodgers on Thursday. LA immediately made it look awful.

La Russa called for Trea Turner to be intentionally walked with two outs in the sixth inning and a 1-2 count. The Chicago manager ordered the free pass after a wild pitch by Bennett Sousa allowed Freddie Freeman to move up to second base. Rather than continue to pitch to the Dodgers shortstop with first base open, La Russa elected to have Sousa face Max Muncy in a lefty-lefty matchup with runners at first and second.

Muncy homered to left field on the fifth pitch of his at-bat to expand Los Angeles’ lead to 10-5.

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Confused as to why La Russa would make such a decision? Plenty of people are. The NBC Chicago broadcast microphones picked up a fan reminding La Russa of the count after Turner had made his way to first base.

“Tony, what are you doing?” the fan could be heard yelling. “He had two strikes, Tony.”

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Just as confused as everyone else was Freeman. The first baseman was shown with a curious expression and he appeared to utter, “What?” as Turner began to walk to first.

Muncy, for his part, appeared to take the decision to intentionally walk Turner personally. He might have uttered something less safe for work as he appeared to call the decision “disrespectful.”

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According to Stathead, only 147 batters have been intentionally walked in a two-strike count, and it has only happened 169 times. No one had ever been intentionally walked with a 1-2 count.

Turner entered play Thursday with an .858 OPS and an .831 OPS against left-handed pitching. Muncy, on the other hand, has struggled to a .450 OPS against southpaws and had not hit a home run all season against lefties.

Still, in a 1-2 count, there is little reason to be nervous about any batter. MLB hitters have posted a .478 OPS through a 1-2 count or later this season, according to Fangraphs. Turner has a .687 OPS after getting to 1-2.

Originally found on Sporting News Read More

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