Did Tony La Russa hear a fan’s suggestion? The Chicago White Sox manager explains his 8th-inning pinch-running decision. – The Denver Post


A video of a fan calling for Tony La Russa to pinch-run Adam Engel for Eloy Jiménez from a few rows away — and the Chicago White Sox manager making the move in the eighth inning of Monday’s game — went viral, even appearing on MLB Network.

When asked about it before Tuesday’s game against the Houston Astros, La Russa said it was the first he had heard about the fan, but he added with a smile: “Well, make his day. Tell him I heard him.”

Jiménez tied the game with a two-run double with two outs in the eighth. José Abreu was batting when La Russa took a couple of steps on the field to call time and have Engel run for Jiménez.

Engel made it to third when Abreu and Yasmani Grandal walked (Abreu intentionally). Engel and Abreu scored on a single by Yoán Moncada, and the Sox went on to win 4-2.

La Russa explained the process before Tuesday’s game.

“I spent a lot of time talking with (coaches) Jerry (Narron) and Miguel (Cairo),” La Russa said. “It was a really tough call. I can tell you why. We went back and forth with it. It’s the eighth inning, the score is tied. So if it’s tied again in the ninth, in the 10th, and Jiménez’s spot is coming up — he’s third place in the inning — do you want to take his bat out?

“His defense (in left field) has been good enough. I worried more about if it’s a close play (at the plate) and he’s going to try to run it, he might hurt himself. That was a difficult choice. Ninth inning, sure. Eighth inning, in a tie game, I said I’d rather not. I’d regret getting him hurt.

“And secondly, we’ll have real good defense out there (with Engel, who came in at center while AJ Pollock shifted to left) and if he gets up can do something too. That was the hesitation. It was a very tough call.”



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