Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker defended his decision to not walk Aaron Judge in the June 23 game, and he used Chicago White Sox skipper Tony La Russa as an example.
The Houston Astros seemingly had their series opening game against the New York Yankees. They did hold a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, but that turned into a 7-6 loss thanks to a game-tying home run by Aaron Hicks and a walk-off RBI single by Aaron Judge.
With Judge in the batter’s box with two runners on base and with a 3-0 count, Baker was asked by a member of the media why he did not walk the Yankees star outfielder. Baker said that if he had walked Judge and the next batter got a hit, he would be second-guessed for that decision like Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa.
Dusty Baker explains why he did not walk Aaron Judge in loss
La Russa was under scrutiny for his decision-making in Chicago’s June 9 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Down 7-5 with a runner on base in the top of the sixth-inning, La Russa opted to walk Trea Turner on a 1-2 count to pitch to Max Muncy. That very next at-bat, Muncy hit a three-run homer to extend Los Angeles’ lead to 10-5.
For Baker, he is standing firm with his decision to walk Judge.
Baker brought in Ryan Pressly to start the bottom of the ninth inning. He walked Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres in consecutive at-bats, where he then surrendered the three-run homer to Hicks to tie the game. Pressly then surrendered singles to Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jose Trevino before getting pulled by Ryan Stanek.
After striking out Joey Gallo and walking D.J. LeMahieu, Judge stepped into the batter’s box. That was when he hit the single deep to left field to allow Trevino to score at home to win the game.
The Astros will look to get a win on Friday night in the Bronx.