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Phillies decide to intentionally walk Eric Campbell, then change their minds mid at-bat

May 10, 2014, 10:37 PM EDT

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

Bet you Eric Campbell didn’t see this in the minor leagues. In the top of the eighth inning of a 4-4 ballgame, the Phillies bullpen did what they do best and put two runners in scoring position with one out for 27-year-old rookie Eric Campbell, making his major league debut. With first base open, Carlos Ruiz stood towards the left-handed batter’s box and took the first of four pitches from reliever Mike Adams for the intentional walk, ostensibly to set up a potential inning-ending double play.

Then, for some reason, the Phillies changed their minds. Ruiz got back into his normal crouch behind the plate and Adams pitched to Campbell normally and ultimately struck him out looking.

Don’t believe me? The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Gelb tweeted it:

Apparently Chase Utley had something to do with it:

The drama continued as Adams unintentionally walked Wilmer Flores to bring up former two-time Phillie Bobby Abreu. But Abreu grounded weakly back to Adams for the inning-ending put out at first base, leaving the game tied at 4-4 going into the top of the ninth inning.

  1. tfbuckfutter - May 10, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    So they approach at bats like they approach contracts?

    • scotttheskeptic - May 10, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      If that were the case, Campbell would have been given 1st and 2nd guaranteed, with 3rd and Home as easily vested options.

  2. mikhelb - May 10, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    I just remembered when Tony Peña did it at least a couple of times, with two strikes he’d get up the pitcher would throw maybe once like for an IBB, then Peña suddenly crouched to catch the batter with his guard down and strike him out. Or Manny throwing his bat to a pitch out for an IBB and recording a hit… Miguel Cabrera I think even hit a HR once.

    • wiscotom - May 11, 2014 at 8:23 AM

      Miggy didn’t hit a homer, but he drove in a run during an IBB. I want to say it was a go-ahead hit in extra innings though.

    • seeinred87 - May 12, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      As wiscotom said, it was a line drive single in extras to give the Marlins the lead:

  3. chaseutley - May 11, 2014 at 12:04 AM

    Psychological warfare. The Phils giveth and the Phils taketh away.

  4. greymares - May 11, 2014 at 8:12 AM

    Great strategy they got in the rookies head. lol.

  5. Francisco (FC) - May 11, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    For striking out Campbell and getting Abreu to ground out weakly, we got three gold doubloons, let’s grab them and head for 9th.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 11, 2014 at 8:30 AM

      Are you watching Disney Channel right this moment? I am (with daughter) – and that show is on

      • Francisco (FC) - May 11, 2014 at 9:34 AM


      • Francisco (FC) - May 11, 2014 at 9:35 AM

        Disney Channel is on 90% of the time, the other half is MLB network.

  6. DelawarePhilliesFan - May 11, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    They quickly did the Posnanski math, then changed there minds

  7. DelawarePhilliesFan - May 11, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    According to Matt Gelb:

    The Phillies, during a mound conference, decided to intentionally walk Eric Campbell, a career minor-leaguer playing in his first game, to load the bases.

    But when Utley saw Bobby Abreu climb to the top step in the Mets dugout as a possible pinch-hitter, he sprinted to the mound. Adams had already thrown an intentional ball to Campbell.

    “Hey, let’s go after this guy,” Utley told Adams.

    “That got the juices going,” Adams said, “and after that it was pretty fun.”

    “That was pretty neat to watch,” Sandberg said.

  8. psunick - May 11, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    What’s the big deal here?

    Team changed strategy when it saw Abreu move on deck. And it worked.

    Phillies should get credit, not trolled.

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