In the seventh inning of the Phillies’ 10-7 win over the Mets on Sunday, New York manager Mickey Callaway chose to intentionally walk Philadelphia catcher Andrew Knapp with two outs.
Knapp has a .194/.326/.259 slash line on the season, and entered the game with a .218/.327/.322 career slash line in 545 plate appearances.
Oh, and this was to load the bases. And with *Bryce Harper* on deck.
Well, Harper walked (as he does in 15.1% of his plate appearances) to score a run, putting the Phillies up 10-6.
After the game, Callaway was asked why he made this decision. The Mets’ skipper said that he wanted to remove Philadelphia reliever Mike Morin from the game; Harper pinch-hit in Morin’s spot in the lineup.
Mickey Callaway said he intentionally walked Andrew Knapp today to get to Bryce Harper because he wanted to force the Phillies to remove reliever Mike Morin from the game.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) September 8, 2019
Callaway chose to intentionally walk Knapp to face Harper in hopes of getting one of the Phillies' better relievers out of the game pic.twitter.com/fghYkZWN1A
— SNY (@SNYtv) September 8, 2019
Well that’s an, um, interesting explanation.
Morin shouldn’t be dictating an opponent’s gameplan. The right-hander has a 4.12 ERA and 4.38 FIP this season, and entered with a 4.56 ERA for his career. If we’re talking a reliever like Josh Hader, Aroldis Chapman, or Kirby Yates, Callaway’s explanation would be at least *sort of* understandable.
But putting a very bad hitter on base… to load the bases… to get to one of the best hitters in baseball… who’s also one of the most patient hitters in baseball… in a spot where a walk allows a run… when you’re already trailing by three runs.
The logic isn’t exactly there for this one, Mickey.