Here’s something you don’t expect to see too often: a guy being intentionally walked in favor of facing a dude who has hit 45+ home runs and 130+ RBI four times. But that’s what Houston Astros manager Tony DeFrancesco did yesterday, choosing to walk Chase Utley to face Ryan Howard. Twice.
“Howard, for me, was struggling the first couple days and wasn’t even getting a good swing and if I was going to have somebody beat me it was going to be Howard,” DeFrancesco said.
You don’t hear that very often. But then again, maybe there’s a reason for it. Because even though Howard is struggling mightily — he has been even more vulnerable to lefties lately than he usually is — he still made DeFrancesco pay for the second walk, when Howard hit a two-run double.