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C.J. Wilson apparently did not want to intentionally walk Robinson Cano last night

Apr 2, 2014, 11:32 AM EDT

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 11.17.11 AM AP

In the third inning of last night’s Mariners-Angels game, Robinson Cano came to the plate with runners on second and third and two out. Angels manager Mike Scioscia had C.J. Wilson walk Cano to get to Justin Smoak. The result: Smoak cleared the bases with a double.

After the game, C.J. Wilson gave the strong impression that he didn’t agree with the move:

Asked if it was strange to walk a left-handed hitter to pitch to a switch-hitter who would bat from the right side, Wilson said, “Yes … no more questions on that one.”

Platoon advantage aside, I think I’d rather pitch to Smoak than Cano. But I also think intentionally walking just about anyone is akin to fascism, to maybe I’m not the right guy to ask.


  1. Kevin Gillman - Apr 2, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    I would take my chance in facing Justin Smoak instead of Robinson Cano any day of the week, just not in the 3rd inning. You do that in 7th+, if the game is close.

  2. tccoats - Apr 2, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    CJ Wilson….smartest guy in the room…just ask him….

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 2, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      I believe Scioscia clings to that title with pride.

  3. sfm073 - Apr 2, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    It’s the first week of the season and you’re only in the 3rd inning and you walk a guy with a lefty lefty situation. Great confidence in your $18 million dollar pitcher.

  4. raysfan1 - Apr 2, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Unless it’s 2001, and Bonds is the batter, I don’t like intentional walks much either.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      Intentional walks do not put seats in seats.

      • brewcrewchamps - Apr 2, 2014 at 8:40 PM

        what does put seats in seats?

      • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2014 at 9:13 PM

        Miggy go boom!

  5. stoutfiles - Apr 2, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Hindsight, what can you do. Over the long run pitching to Smoak is better than pitching to Cano.

  6. stevem7 - Apr 2, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    3rd inning of a ballgame is way too early to intentionally walk the likes of Cano. Scioscia needs to stop managing from a position of fear.

    • stex52 - Apr 2, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      Yup. Even Cano is going to fail 60% of the time.

      • spudchukar - Apr 2, 2014 at 12:30 PM

        And this is the real crux of the discussion. I have no problem walking Cano, if another lefty is up next, but while Cano has proven way more than Smoak you are inviting trouble early. Not only do you add a base runner, you help turn over the line-up.

        That is why later inning IBBs make so much more sense then 3rd inning ones, particularly to get to a righty power hitter, whose odds of succeeding increase with the bases loaded, and are not much different than Cano’s.

  7. Alex K - Apr 2, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    I think intentional walks are stupid in almost every situation. This is one of them. Smoak is only a .226/.296/.365 hitter vs lefties (worse than Cano), but C.J. Wilson is a beast against lefties. With Wilson it’s dumb to give up the platoon advantage even to face a much worse hitter.

  8. bigguy54 - Apr 2, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    As an M’s fan I liked how it turned out, but looking at numbers it was the correct call. I think Cano hits .380 against CJ, and Smoak hit .219 RH last year. Maybe CJ should have made a better pitch, than putting it in the little wheelhouse Smoak has from that side of the plate. I am not sure the Angels will live up to the hype again, the BP is awful, it is early though, anything can happen. Maybe Cano’ s prescence has helped change the character of th M’s, but again it is early. It will be interesting to see how they handle adversity.

  9. J. Robert Hanson - Apr 2, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Scioscia made the right move CJ. Did you let your emotions cloud your pitching to Smoak? Is that why he hit the double? Instead of questioning Scioscia’s intentions, look at your own.

  10. gatorprof - Apr 2, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    I wouldn’t have walked him as you are basically telling your #2 that I don’t trust you to get out a lefty.

    Cano isn’t necessarily tearing it up against lefties…

    2011-2013 splits.

    LHP: .279/.339/.426, 26 HRs

    RHP:.327/.389/.595, 67 HRs

    That being said, he has owned C.J. Wilson average-wise, .355/.459/.419, but not power-wise.

  11. zdravit - Apr 2, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Don’t let his big contract scare you. He’s mediocre at best.

  12. illbarry - Apr 2, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    Two games and twice the intentionally walked Cano to pitch to Smoak and twice Smoak has burned them. Smoak hit well all spring and is due for a real breakout season and its a new year and a new start. Last year was last year and has no bearing on all the off season work he has done.

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