Joe Maddon, the manager of the reigning American League champs, has received a bit of a reputation of being the smartest guy in the room, especially in his own mind. If that’s the case, he may want to keep a lower profile after today to avoid hearing any nasty retorts like, “At least I didn’t screw up the lineup card so badly that the pitcher had to hit for himself in an AL game.”
Unfortunately for the stunt double for Gene Hackman from The Conversation, Maddon, his “quality assurance coach”, and his bench coach all missed that Maddon listed Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist at third base and failed to list a DH. Therefore, starting pitcher Andy Sonnanstine had to bat for himself in the third slot in the order.
Of course, because Maddon obviously knows what he’s doing, he made the mistake against the woeful Cleveland Indians and known pyro David Huff with a decent-hitting pitcher in Sonnanstine. Therefore, Sonnanstine doubled in the fourth on the way to a 7-5 victory. (Unfortunately, Sonnanstine still has a 7.36 ERA, much unimproved by giving up five runs in 5.2 IP.)
Attendees of today’s game even got to see a double-switch with the pitcher’s (third) slot to help rectify the situation. Longoria came in the game in that slot while Grant Balfour swapped in for right fielder Gabe Kapler. However, Sonnanstine lasted long enough to score the win and get in some practice for interleague play next week. You know, just how Maddon planned it. Genius!