Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine made one of the dumbest decisions I've seen all season Tuesday night.
Here's the situation: The White Sox are leading 3-2 in the top of the fourth inning. They have runners at second and third with two outs. Kevin Youkilis is hitting against Boston left-hander Jon Lester. Adam Dunn is on deck.
Youkilis, a right-handed hitter, has an OPS of .923 against left-handed pitchers and has been among the most productive hitters in the Chicago lineup recently. Further, he's motivated to stick it to Valentine, who didn't have much nice to say about him when he was with Boston.
Dunn, meanwhile, is batting .165 against left-handed pitchers with 60 strikeouts in 109 ABs coming into Tuesday's action.
I'm thinking, base open, no way they pitch to Youkilis. No way. Lester pitches cautiously to Youkilis and the count runs to 3-0. "They are just going to put him on, right?" Then, Lester starts coming after Youkilis. Finally, on a 3-2 pitch, Youkilis homers over the Green Monster in left field. 6-2 White Sox, and they go on to win 7-5.
After the Youkilis home run, Dunn does what he normally does against left-handers -- he strikes out to end the inning.
It is unfathomable that Valentine allowed Lester to pitch to Youkilis. In the TV booth, Sox color analyst Steve Stone mockingly says, "Good decision, Bobby."
From the Chicago perspective, it was indeed.