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Worst Intentional Walk Ever?


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Joe Posnanski made reference today to an intentional walk in Tuesday's Rockies-Braves game that seems to me to be almost the worst imaginable.

The box score is here

Situation: The Braves were down 6-2 going into the bottom of the 6th inning. They got two outs, with a walk sandwiched between, then gave up an RBI triple. The the Rockies were now up five runs, with a runner and 2nd and two outs. Ian Stewart came up to hit. Ian Stewart is hitting .145 this season. The Braves intentionally walked Ian Stewart.

When I read that, I first wondered if it was one of those things where the pitcher goes 3-0, then intentionally throws ball 4 to start fresh with the next guy. I would not have done that, but it seemed a little less insane than actually throwing four intentional balls. But a quick check of the play-by-play shows that it was an IBB all the way.

What on earth were the Braves thinking here? They were not setting up the double play, because there were two outs. They were not dodging a frightening hitter, because Stewart is batting .145. They were not trying to get to the pitcher, because Ianetta was on deck. And most importantly, they were already down five runs! This is like the perfect storm of reasons to not issue an IBB. The only way I could imagine this being a worse idea is if the Braves were up 5 runs instead of down 5.

Of course, as Posnanski reported with delight, the next two batters provided a walk and a bases-clearing triple.

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Heh' date=' when I saw the thread title I immediately thought of Todd Williams vs Miguel Cabrera in 2006. Although that was the worst intentional walk ever for execution, not strategy.[/quote']

Who threw the one Vlad got a hit on? It was against us, right?

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