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The Texas Rangers hoped they were adding one of MLB's most feared hitters via their $325 million contract with Corey Seager. The Los Angeles Angels certainly acted like they got their wish.
With the bases loaded and one out in the fourth inning on Friday, the Angels chose to protect a 4-2 lead by intentionally walking the Rangers' star shortstop. Seager could hardly believe what he was seeing after being told to take his base.
Let's get wacky on a Friday night!
We got an intentional walk with the bases loaded!!! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/enmXExTi24
— MLB (@MLB) April 16, 2022
Did the gambit work out? Kinda. The Angels were facing a scenario where a hit by Seager meant a tie game and a homer meant a two-run deficit. Rangers catcher Mitch Garver notched a sacrifice fly in the next at-bat and Adolis Garcia popped out to end the inning.
So the Rangers allowed about as many runs as they would have had Seager singled. Given that it happened despite the Rangers making outs on the next two batters and it was possible for Seager to, y'know, make an out, you could say the Angels might have been a little too cute. Then again, Seager entered Friday hitting .346/.393/.500 and has a history of clutch hits at Globe Life Field.
How rare is such an intentional walk? Well, it's happened three times since 1950, per MLB.com's Sarah Langs. One of them is Bonds and the other two are Joe Maddon-managed teams facing the Rangers.
Intentional walks with bases loaded, since 1950:
Corey Seager, tonight
Josh Hamilton, 2008
Barry Bonds, 1998
Tonight & '08 were vs Joe Maddon-managed teams
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) April 16, 2022
Good decision or not, it worked out for the Angels, who went on to win 9-6 thanks to two homers from Shohei Ohtani. Maybe the Rangers should have walked him.