Los Angeles Dodgers 11, White Sox 9 – June 9, 2022
The Chicago White Sox could have made a statement but they blew it.
The ex-Sox manager made many a baffling decision in his two seasons on the South Side but his choice to intentionally walk Trea Turner on a 1-2 count was among the most head-scratching.
The Dodgers had come back from down 4-0 and led 7-5 after a Freddie Freeman RBI single. Freeman advanced to second on a wild pitch and La Russa ordered Turner walked to set up a lefty-on-lefty matchup. Max Muncy pounced, hitting a three-run bomb.
La Russa tried to defend it. “Is there some question about whether that was a 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.”
That may have been the moment that the Sox fan base turned on Tony La Russa, who would no longer be the Sox manager after 2022. He has since been replaced by Pedro Grifol, who was formerly the bench coach for the Kansas City Royals.
Try as I might, I still can’t find a defense for La Russa’s decision.