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Ryan Howard didn’t get much respect from the Astros

Sep 17, 2012, 8:51 AM EDT

Ryan Howard

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.

What was your rationale, Mr. DeFrancesco?

“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.

  1. stex52 - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    I’ll try not to be too rash judging DeFrancesco’s moves. I don’t think he has a snowball’s chance of being the next manager anyway. Gotta say one thing, though. Ryan may be struggling, but the Astros don’t exactly have a Rivera or an Eckersley on the relief staff either. It may have made sense in context. But it was still unlikely to pay off twice, no matter what the odds.

  2. Mark - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Makes a ton of sense considering that A) Throughout their careers Utley has been the better player and B) this season Utley has an OPS nearly 100 points higher than Howard (800 something vs 700 something in favour of Utley).

  3. timb12 - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    It makes sense. He was trying his hardest to lose the game. It makes perfect sense.

  4. phillyphannn83 - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    nothing bugs me more than frenchies adding a “u” to words where they don’t belong…its FAVOR!

    • bjbeliever - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      except its british and has been the correct/original english spelling for hundreds of years, i try to keep an open mind and look at it as americans just need to be different….and apparently hate u’s????

  5. bjbeliever - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Sounds like the Bobby V school of strategy right there, maybe they share notes in between games

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