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Monday, April 23, 2018

Bruce Bochy walked to get to Chris Davis and got burned

Chris Davis home runBruce Bochy is an unconventional manager, and one of his unconventional moves backfired on Friday.

The San Francisco Giants and Baltimore Orioles were tied at two in the top of the 10th at AT&T Park when Bochy had his pitcher issue an intentional walk to Adam Jones to bring up Chris Davis. That’s the same Chris Davis who leads MLB with 42 home runs. Just as you would imagine, Davis torched the Giants.

The left-handed slugger hit a 2-run double to put the O’s up 4-2, and Matt Wieters followed with an RBI single before Bochy pulled pitcher Javier Lopez for Santiago Casilla. The Giants ended up losing 5-2 in 10.

Though the move did not pay off, and intentionally walking to get to Davis sounds insane, there actually was some logic to Bochy’s move.

Lopez is a lefty and already had gotten out left-handed hitters Nate McLouth and Nick Markakis earlier in the inning. Davis is hitting .247/.296/.527 against lefties, compared to .332/.420/.757 against right-handed pitchers. But if Bochy wanted to play the matchup game, he should have taken a look at Adam Jones’ stats against lefties before walking him. Jones is hitting .246/.313/.425 against lefties, which is worse than Davis’ numbers against southpaws.

Bochy out-thought himself on this one and lost. And just to remind Bochy how dumb it is to intentionally walk someone to get to Davis, the O’s first baseman crushed a home run to center in a 3-2 loss on Saturday:

That moonshot was No. 42 on the season for Davis. Davis had a dropoff in July, but he’s right back on track this month.

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