With the score tied 2-2 in the seventh inning and the go-ahead run on third with one out, the 66ers chose to intentionally walk Matt Kemp. The move worked out: C.J. Retherford grounded into a double play and the Sixers went on to score 2 in the bottom of the seventh of a 4-2 victory over the Quakes before 4,661 at San Manuel Stadium.
It was a rare sight: an intentional walk to a rehabbing major leaguer. It surprised Kemp and Quakes manager Juan Bustabad. Sixers manager Bill Haselman was surprised they were surprised.
- Intentional walks are rare in the California League, and Bustabad said he would want his pitcher to pitch to the big leaguer. “I would never do it,” he said.
- “Have you ever seen that?” Kemp wondered. “Intentionally walk a rehab guy?”
- Here is Haselman’s defense, if he needs one. They hadn’t pitched around Kemp at all during his time in the Cal League. It was his first walk in the 3-game series against the Sixers. The first two pitches weren’t intentional. But Kemp didn’t chase those and down 2-0 and in that situation, Haselman wasn’t going to let Kemp beat him. “I would expect them to do the same thing,” Haselman said.
By the way, Kemp was 1 for 3 with the walk and two strikeouts and is expected to join Triple-A Albuquerque today.