Is It time for Chicago White Sox to move on from Tony La Russa?

Tony La Russa appears to be on the hot seat after another tough loss on Thursday afternoon.

The White Sox let a 4-0 lead slip away in the fifth inning in Thursday’s loss to the Dodgers, eventually dropping the final game of the series 11-9. But following the game, the main headline is on a decision that La Russa made during the game that backfired.

La Russa has been criticized for poor choices all year, but Thursday’s decision to intentionally walk Trea Turner on a 1-2 count with 2 outs might be the worst one yet.  With Max Muncy on deck and a runner on, La Russa called for the intentional walk and minutes later Muncy launched a three-run shot to break the game open and give the Dodgers a 10-5 lead.

“When was the last time you saw somebody intentionally walked on 1-2?”
“Doesn’t happen often.”

The pitcher on the mound was lefty, Bennett Sousa, and with Muncy on deck, La Russa preferred the lefty versus lefty matchup despite already having two strikes on Turner.  The decision was bizarre to say the least. It left everyone scratching their heads, including the White Sox broadcast team.

Moreover, the unfortunate part of all this is that Muncy is a better hitter career wise against lefties than he is against righties. Muncy career stats against righties: .228/.357/.475, .832 OPS.  His career stats against lefties are as follows: .251/.365/.492, .857 OPS.  One would assume that La Russa would be aware of this information, and factor it into his decision making.

Nonetheless, La Russa defended his decision in the post game interview.  Just for the record, Trea Tuner is a career .197/.204/.304 hitter on a 1-2 count.

“Does anybody in this room really think that even with the count, we should have gone to Turner? No chance.”

The mistake is just the latest for La Russa in what has been a frustrating time as manager of the White Sox.

In the second game against the Dodgers, La Russa started Leury Garcia in the leadoff spot.  Garcia is currently hitting .184 on the year.

Injuries have made it tough to have the same 9 hitters in the lineup daily.  Nevertheless, there has been zero consistency in the lineups being made all year long.  Players that are hot should be hitting higher in the lineup, not a different spot every game.  It almost feels like La Russa writes names of the players on pieces of paper and shuffles them around in his hat, and voila!

Additionally, La Russa is leaving his starters in the game for far too long.  In Thursdays game against the Dodgers, La Russa did not warm up anyone in the bullpen until Dylan Cease threw his 98th pitch of the game.  He made the same mistake in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays with Lucas Giolito.

For instance, La Russa once brought in a lefty to face a righty after a lefty had just batted in a critical situation back on May 12 against the New York Yankees.  That tells you everything you need to know about that.

This is not to say the White Sox struggles fall solely on the manager, but these type of decisions are hurting the team tremendously.  Above all, Inconsistent offense, bad defense, and injuries is this teams biggest downfall.

Is it possible La Russa could be the next one to be relieved of his duties?

Make sure to check out our WHITE SOX forum for the latest on the team.

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