Francona: Walking Longoria Wasn’t the Right Thing to Do


Aug 5, 2009

Francona: Walking Longoria Wasn't the Right Thing to Do Evan Longoria is never someone you want to face with the game on the line.

The 23-year-old slugger is hitting .274 with 23 home runs and 81 RBIs so far this season. Against right-handed Red Sox pitching, he is batting .400 (and slugging 1.000) with five homers and 18 RBIs in 30 at-bats.

Given those numbers, fans have to wonder: Why didn't Red Sox manager Terry Francona have right-hander Takashi Saito walk him with a man on base in the bottom of the 13th inning of a 2-2 game?

Instead, Francona watched as Longoria launched a walk-off homer — his second longball of the night — but he did not second-guess himself after the game.

He told that if Saito had walked Longoria, he also would have needed to walk Ben Zobrist in order to face Joe Dillon — and that would have been a bases-loaded situation for an erractic pitcher with less than pinpoint control. Francona didn't want to lose the game on a bases-loaded walk; he preferred to just go after Longoria and hope for the best.

"If you're going to go all the way to the bases loaded, you're looking at a guy with 40 pitches," the manager told "I wish the ball wouldn't have gone out, but I don't think [walking Longoria] was the right thing to do."

The Sox did intentionally walk Longoria in the bottom of the ninth inning, but at that point, there was a man on second, and with first base open, it made sense to go after a double-play ball from Zobrist — and fortunately, they got it.

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