Los Angeles Angels captain Joe Madden is no stranger to controversial management decisions, and we were all reminded of it Friday night.
With a full base and out in the fourth inning, Madden headed to the mound. He concluded that the best course of action was to deliberately let Corey Seager go, much to the dismay of pitcher Austin Warren.
The decision to walk Seager gave the Rangers a two-point lead. From there, things only get worse.
After Seager was gone, the Rangers cashed in at sacrifice flies before being turned away by Warren. When the inning finally ended, Texas led 6-2.
After the game, Madden explained his thinking.
“I think by walking the Seager, it avoids a huge hit. Just to stir up the group, frankly. It’s not something you would normally do. things to respond,” Madden told reporters, Via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com.
Although the decision was unconventional, it did rally the team. The Angels stormed back with a five-point fifth inning, then added two more in the seventh. Raisel Iglesias then threw a scoreless run in the ninth to seal a 9-6 win for Los Angeles.
Madden’s decision to deliberately walk a batter with full bases is only the third such instance in the past 70 years. Ironically, he was also the last manager to do so in 2008, when Tampa Bay Rays backup Grant Balfour walked up to Josh Hamilton.
In 1998, the Arizona Diamondbacks also went out of their way to walk with a loaded Barry Bonds.