Originally Posted by The Immigrant
You're being generous to Robin by calling the move merely questionable. Putting the go ahead run on base while choosing to pitch to an all-around better hitter was a pretty dumb move in my opinion (although not as dumb as Michael Bourn's sacrifice bunt with one out in the 8th inning).
Giambi homered a two-strike pitch to give the Indians an early lead. Giambi was a threat to give the Indians the lead. I could see where walking Giambi would have been considered the more conservative move. I wouldn't have walked Giambi, but at the same time I didn't like the matchup of Belisario. As it turned out, the two-out hit came on a two-strike pitch. It may have been Dunn's fault that the Sox weren't out of the inning with a double play, although no error was charged because it was a ground out where the Sox failed to get an additional out on the bases. Before the intentional walk, the only runner on base was a runner Belisario failed to retire.
I am not a fan of intentional walks in general, but after Garcia stole second in the ninth, I expected the Indians to put Semien on to bring up Sierra with men on first and second. Maybe the Indians thought they could get Semien to strike out without throwing strikes.
As for Bourn's sacrifice bunt, I am surprised he got credit for a sacrifice in that situation. With one out, and his speed, I think his intent the intent was to reach base. Official scorers used to be more hard-line about such things. For years players who thought scorers wronged them used to call the scorers to complain (at least going back to Ron Santo). Now I have heard that some agents go to the MLB office to try to get scoring changes, which sometimes the league office issues. However, I don't know if that's true.