I saw the last few innings of the Giants-Braves game last night – what a weird, wild finish. The Giants won it in the bottom of the night on what I consider a very bad managing move by Bobby Cox.
With one out, two straight singles put runners at the corners and brought Barry Bonds to the plate. Cox decided to intentionally walk Bonds to load the bases with only one out. This move I actually have no problem with this. Bonds is fast and with the extreme infield shift they have to play against him, it would be very hard to stop the run from scoring without striking him out. Also Kevin Gryboski was pitching, so advantage Bonds. It also set up a good potential double play situation with Edgardo Alfonzo and his moderate foot speed at the plate.
Now here comes the problem: with the bases loaded and one out, Cox played the infield in! Unbelievable. A double play gets you out of the inning, and you have a decent double play candidate at the plate. Playing the infield in also cuts down the range of the infielders, making it easier for the batter to win the game with a
So anyways, Alfonzo won the game by hitting a ground ball up the middle (about 5-10 feet to the left side of second base – yep, a tailor made double play ball) through the drawn in infield. Someone explain to me why you wouldn’t want to play the middle infielders at double play depth in that situation?