Tony La Russa Calls Out Critics of Strange Intentional Walk Strategy
Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa has made it a trend to intentionally walk batters on a two-strike count this season. He did it earlier in the year against the Los Angeles Dodgers before doing it again Friday night when he made Jake Diekman intentionally walk Cleveland Guardians rookie Oscar González.
While his strategy backfired against the Dodgers, La Russa's idea to walk González paid off, resulting in an inning-ending fly out from Owen Miller. Still, the skipper's unusual strategy has drawn some criticism, regardless of the results, leading to La Russa addressing his doubters after Friday's game.
White Sox News
La Russa told reporters that he intentionally walked González on a 1-2 count, loading the bases in the process, because the rookie is "hitting .300." He added that people who are making a big deal over his unorthodox strategy are blowing things out of proportion.
"We’ve been through this before, the most ridiculous thing in this season has been the 1-2 walk. I mean that’s the most ridiculous. That’s what I say. Anybody says… I mean. I don’t want to get into it, man. Gets me upset."- Tony La Russa
What's even more bizarre about La Russa's call on Friday was that his White Sox were already losing 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning. That ended up also being the final score and even though the 77-year-old's strategy paid off, the result could've been much worse.
The White Sox have been one of the biggest under performers of the 2022 MLB season. Projected to be World Series contenders before the campaign began, a three-game losing streak now has them three games out of an AL Wild Card spot with two teams in front of them.
Now, the White Sox only have 42 games remaining to turn things around and make the playoffs. While Tankathon lists them as having the fifth-easiest remaining schedule, La Russa must ensure that any bold coaching strategies don't cost his club any meaningful games down the stretch.
White Sox Playoff Odds
The odds aren't in the White Sox's favor when it comes to making the 2022 MLB postseason. FanDuel Sportsbook is only giving them +110 odds to make the playoffs, equating to an implied probability of 47.6%. There's enough time to improve those odds, but the White Sox must make it happen sooner than later.
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