Discussion

The folly of walking Punto

Ron Washington hurt his own cause by avoiding the light-hitting second baseman

Updated: October 20, 2011, 1:22 PM ET
By Colin Wyers | Baseball Prospectus

Surely someone on the Texas Rangers' coaching staff has seen a National League baseball game before the start of this year's World Series. That person should talk to Ron Washington, who apparently hasn't.

Let's talk about the intentional walk to Nick Punto in the fourth inning. To start with, yes, there was an intentional walk issued to Nick Punto in the fourth inning. This is a player who has 2,984 career plate appearances and nine career free passes. Rarely has it come to pass that anyone thought it was a good idea to walk Nick Punto of their own accord. So there's that.

But what does the historical record tell us? Let's take a look at play-by-play records from 1993 through 2011. Let's restrict ourselves to games without a DH, where a position player batting eighth has come to bat with two outs and a runner on second.

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