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Ron Washington “couldn’t have lived” with Dustin Pedroia beating him

Jun 7, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT

David Ortiz Getty Getty Images

The Red Sox defeated the Rangers 6-3 last night on a walk-off three-run homer by David Ortiz in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The game-winner came after Jonny Gomes doubled off left-hander Michael Kirkman to begin the inning and Rangers manager Ron Washington elected to intentionally walk Dustin Pedroia in order to face Ortiz. You don’t see that very often. Ortiz then deposited an inside fastball into the right field bullpen to end it.

After the decision blew up in Washington’s face, he explained his thinking as follows:

Say what now? I’m honestly not sure who Washington is trying to compliment here. Repeated readings of this quote are making my head hurt.

While it appears that Washington preferred the lefty-lefty matchup, Ortiz didn’t agree with the intentional walk, telling Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald that “you don’t wake up a monster like that.”

  1. dan1111 - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    - Pedroia is a significantly better hitter than Ortiz against lefties.

    - In a walk-off situation it can make sense to put someone on first to create force outs on the bases.

    Now, if only Washington had used one of these perfectly reasonable explanations.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      Pedroia OPS v LHP = 1.046
      Papi OPS v LHP = .763

      Basically against lefties, Pedroia IS Little Papi.

      • dan1111 - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:15 AM

        2013 is a small sample size. When looking at their career stats, the difference isn’t nearly that big. And actually, Ortiz really hit lefties well in 2011-12.

        But still, this would be a perfectly defensible reason to walk Pedroia–unlike Washington’s refusal to face life if Pedroia got the winning hit.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:14 AM

      Can’t argue with the latter point, but the former I can quibble with. It’s only a 40pt OPS gap between the two over their careers. That’s not significantly better. And the pitcher in question has almost no platoon split so it wasn’t in the Ranger’s benefit to pitch to Ortiz.

      • dan1111 - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:18 AM

        I agree that walking Pedroia based on their platoon splits is not a slam dunk case. But I do think it would be a logical, defensible reason to walk him.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:08 AM

        Completely agree.

    • hammyofdoom - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      Seriously, I can understand if he had said “Pedroia has been hot and David has been slumping” Or “I was just playing to the match-ups”. Instead he came out sounding like Pedroia was some number 9 hitter that would have been embarrasing to lose a game to.

  2. deathmonkey41 - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    Dumb mistake- Big Papi’s been doubling down on the milkshakes this year.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      Troll.

  3. flamethrower101 - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    He has a problem with a guy who doesn’t have power to spare beating him but can live with Big Papi hitting a walk off homer? No disrespect to Pedroia, but I would’ve been OK with him beating me. Compared to Papi, the odds of giving up a homer to Petey are slim. It’s not even a question here.

    What the hell was Washington smoking before the game?

    • unclemosesgreen - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:11 AM

      Man on second, no outs, last of the ninth, who cares about a homerun? What were you smoking before typing?

      • flamethrower101 - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:27 AM

        Probably the same thing Ron Washington was.

  4. drewsylvania - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    We can do our usual often-incorrect microanalysis, yes.

  5. rickdobrydney - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    And Ortiz’ PED – laced season continues unabated……

    • bobwsc - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:04 AM

      right…and menitoned how he was tested the week before Shaughnessey’s piece. but you seem to know something…tell us oh wise one.

    • js20011041 - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      I don’t think that the problem lies with walking Pedroia to get to Ortiz. That move is actually defensible. With the winning run on 2nd, Pedroia’s run doesn’t mean anything. So walking the RHB to get to the LHB makes sense from both a platoon split issue as well as a setting up the double play perspective. The problem is with having Kirkman start the inning, or even pitch at all. Why you would bring in a lefty give both Gomes, who has pretty significant platoon splits, and Pedroia, one of the better hitters in baseball, a platoon advantage is dumbfounding. This is before you consider the fact that Kirkman isn’t a particularly good pitcher, regardless of platoon splits. I’d much rather have Nathan come in and eventually face Ortiz rather than give both Gomes and Pedroia a favorable matchup.

    • Jack Marshall - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      What an ass you are.

  6. rebel21das - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    I don’t blame Ron Washington at all, as a Red Sox fan, I would rather see Ortiz smash a game winner over Pedroia all day everyday.

  7. beefytrout - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Sorry Ron, but if you’re bringing in KIRKMAN of all people to face the top of the order in the bottom of the 9th of a tie game, then the person who beat the Rangers was you.

  8. aceshigh11 - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    Seems to me like he was making fun of Pedroia’s diminutive stature.

    Am I the only one who picked up on that?

    • rebel21das - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      Agree 100%

    • billybawl - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      What’s amazing is that Ron Washington made a perfectly reasonable move, yet at the end of a bad day he managed to also (a) give his detractors another reason to question his judgment, (b) fan Ortiz’s ego (maybe unavoidable) and (c) give Pedroia motivation to stick it to the Rangers. He’s managed for a while now, and should know to just say “I had to choose my poison and tonight I took the wrong bottle.”

      • aceshigh11 - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        Good post.

        I don’t think anyone needs to worry about burnishing Ortiz’s ego though…but to be fair to him, he sucked for almost 2 years before his wrist fully healed.

        I think he deserves to have some swagger after being left for dead by everyone (including me) in ’09 and ’10.

  9. turdfurgerson68 - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    I agree that its a pick-your-poison kinda scenario, but If ol’ Ronnie wants to walk Pedroia to face one of the greatest 9th (or extra) inning clutch hitters in MLB history that’s fine with us. Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Boston Red Sox fans

  10. bkh405 - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    “Cocaine’s a hell of a drug.”

  11. albertmn - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    A lot of you are noting that Ortiz is more likely to hit a home run than Pedroia, or comparing OPS stats for the two. But, with a runner on second in a tie game, they didn’t need a home run. It just so happened that Papi hit one, but a single may or may not have ended the game as well. So, in this one case, BA may be a better indicator than OPS as to who was more likely to push across the winning run.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      Batting average has value?

      He’s a witch! Burn him! Burn him!

  12. Jack Marshall - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Of course, the fact that Ortiz has a well-documented talent for walk-off hits isn’t even part of the discussion. I agree that it was a defensible move, but there are some players who really do up their game when you piss them off or when drama is in the air, and Ortiz is one.

  13. deep64blue - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Ron Washington still has a job – wow, wish I could blow 2 World Series like he did and still merge unscathed!

  14. sabatimus - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    That’s gotta be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard heard (er, seen) Ron Washington say. “Duhhh, I’d rather lose to this guy than that guy, deerrrr”. Where’s Herm Edwards to shout in his face?

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