|10.27.13 at 6:02 pm ET|
ST. LOUIS – John Farrell did get a few hours of sleep early Sunday morning, but not much. Part of that was due to how his team’s 5-4 loss to the Cardinals in Game 3 of the World Series unfolded. But there was another issue, as well.
“No, I didn’t sleep worth a damn last night,” Farrell said prior to Game 4. When asked if he did sleep at all, he responded, “I did, yeah. Until the damn … The struck up the band at 7 a.m. on the square this morning.”
The celebration surrounding the St. Louis Marathon aside, most of Farrrell’s anxiety stemmed from the outcomes in his team’s loss.
Sunday, he touched on a few of the game’s key moments in more detail:
Regarding the obstruction call that ended the game:
“Not the call itself. The call was accurate,” he said when asked if there was any issue with the umpire’s game-ending determination. “The Type B portion of the rule, that I think — there needs to have some area in that for intent. Because on that play last night, there’s no way Will [Middlebrooks] can get out of the way. It’s more the rule that I have some issue with, not the call itself. They made the call as the rule suggests and calls for. To say that there can’t be some room for intent there, Will wasn’t trying to hold the guy down. That’s where I think — not just because we lost a World Series game based on the call. If you look at it, it gives the opportunity to be the aggressor and take advantage of it.”
“At that point, then it becomes a judgment call rather than an interpretation of the rule call. I think you’d like to think that in situations like this where a guy falls down going for a ball, he’s not trying to hold the runner down.”
When asked if he thought the players – who were very vocal in their displeasure with the call after the game – come to grips with the outcome, Farrell added, “Yeah I think as we’ve all had a chance to process it, they made the call. And unfortunately it went against us.
“I think once that first pitch is thrown tonight, we’re all about what we have to do inside the game. We can stew on it — I’m sure a number of guys have already put it behind ‘em. We can’t go back. I think that’s what’s been one of the great components in the leadership of this team, is that recognizing what has happened. And OK, shut it off, compartmentalize it, move on.”
On not pinch-hitting for Brandon Workman in the ninth inning:
“Well, I was looking at getting three innings combined out of Workman and Koji [Uehara],” he said. “And felt like, in a tie game, even on the road, I’m not reluctant to use a closer, obviously. Felt like those were our best two relievers. I felt like, after [Trevor]Rosenthal was out of the game, I felt like the advantage swung back to our side with those two guys available. That was my reasoning. Setting aside the double switch or, at that point, I wasn’t going to pinch hit because it felt like there was still the need to get three innings combined out of the two.”
On not walking John Jay to load the bases in the ninth inning:
“I felt like, as good as Koji is, I don’t want him to be backed into a corner with the bases loaded,” Farrell said. “We recorded the out. A great play by Dustin [Pedroa] that gets overlooked in all of this, but no, wasn’t thinking about walking him.”
|10.27.13 at 4:42 pm ET|
ST. LOUIS — One day after manager John Farrell said that the Red Sox might consider having David Ross start at catcher in place of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, he elected to use a lineup featuring just such a substitution. Ross is behind the plate to catch for starter Clay Buchholz, the first time this postseason that Ross has been paired with Buchholz. He’s started three games with Jon Lester on the mound and one with John Lackey pitching, amassing an offensive line of .308/.357/.462 in 15 plate appearances while helping the pitching staff to go 3-1 while yielding an average of 2.25 runs per game in his starts. Saltalamacchia, meanwhile, is hitting .188/.257/.219 with 19 strikeouts in 35 plate appearances in October. The Sox are 5-4 in the games where he’s been behind the plate.
Otherwise, the lineup is unchanged from Game 3, with Stephen Drew once again starting at shortstop, Xander Bogaerts at third base, David Ortiz at first and Mike Napoli on the bench.
UPDATE: The Red Sox scratched right fielder Shane Victorino, originally slated to bat second, from the starting lineup due to what the team described as lower back tightness. Daniel Nava, who was originally batting fifth and playing left, will instead bat second and play right, with Jonny Gomes entering the lineup in the fifth spot.
Victorino is hitting .188 with a .304 OBP and .271 slugging mark in the postseason with 14 strikeouts and one walk (along with a postseason record-setting seven HBPs in 57 plate appearances). In nine games since the start of the ALCS, he’s hitting .088/.184/.206. Gomes, meanwhile, is hitting .152/.200/.212 in 35 postseason plate appearances and 0-for-8 in the World Series. The question of offensive productivity in the batter’s box notwithstanding, the swap of Victorino for Gomes (whom the Sox felt was not as good a defender as Nava) diminishes the Sox’ defensive range in the outfield in a Busch Stadium outfield that is among the more expansive in baseball.
No member of the Cardinals roster has ever faced Buchholz, while the Sox have limited history with St. Louis starter Lance Lynn. For a complete look at the batter vs. starting pitcher matchups, click here. For comprehensive Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.
RED SOX LINEUP
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF Jonny Gomes, LF
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
David Ross, C
Clay Buchholz, SP
|10.27.13 at 3:46 pm ET|
ST. LOUIS — Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo, in an interview on WEEI, suggested that the Sox believe that Clay Buchholz is “ready to go” and give the team a full workload for Game 4 of the World Series.
“Clay is ready to go. He’s fully armed and loaded. We anticipate Clay giving us 100 pitches and getting into the seventh inning, that’s first and foremost,” said Lovullo, in a conversation about how the Sox used their pitching staff in Game 3 knowing that there are questions about what Buchholz might be able to offer as the Game 4 starter. “But you always have to have that backup thought that just in case, you better have some length or somebody in there to have a little bit of coverage.”
Lovullo also discussed the Sox’ impetus for having Mike Napoli take grounders at third base prior to Game 3 of the World Series, chuckling that team officials knew that having the first baseman do so would “raise some eyebrows.” But he suggested while the Sox are contemplating using Napoli at a position he hasn’t played as a professional since 2004, the team does not view Napoli as an option to start at third base. Lovullo characterized Napoli at third base as being preparation for “an emergency situation.”
“We’re looking for any advantage that we can have, any advantage that will help us score runs by putting the best players out on the field at any given time,” said Lovullo. “[The idea of Napoli at third base is] more of a) an emergency situation b) a quick matchup where we could put him out there for one inning with a double-switch and then potentially have another double-switch where, there might be a pinch-run situation or something for [David Ortiz] where we can slide Napoli back over to first base and now play defense in a go-ahead situation. It’s not for a long-term, nine-inning start. It’s mostly for an emergency, a quick inning double-switch or maybe lightning in a bottle, hit a three-run home run, go ahead and slide him over there, in a situation where we already have maneuvered with some of our backup infielders — in this case, Will — in the game.” Read the rest of this entry »
|10.27.13 at 2:29 pm ET|
The Red Sox now face an uphill climb in their quest for their third World Series title in 10 years. Now down, 2-1, in the best-of-seven series following an epic 5-4 walkoff loss in Game 3 against the Cardinals, the Sox must determine what changes, if any, will put them in the best position to rebound, with questions at catcher, first base, shortstop, third base, left field and starting pitcher.
Who do you think the Red Sox should feature at those positions? Weigh in and add your comments!
|10.27.13 at 12:07 pm ET|
The Red Sox turn to Clay Buchholz in a vital Game 4 of the World Series at St. Louis on Sunday.
Buchholz (12-1, 1.74 ERA) and the Cardinals’ Lance Lynn (15-10, 3.97 ERA) face off with St. Louis leading the series 2-1 after its 5-4 win Saturday night at Busch Stadium.
After a spectacular regular season, Buchholz has struggled in the postseason. He last pitched in Boston’s ALCS Game 6 win over the Tigers last Saturday. In the 5-2 victory, he allowed two runs, four hits and two walks in five innings for a no-decision.
Those two runs came during the top of the sixth when Buchholz put on the first two batters he faced. At that point, Franklin Morales relived him, but he was also ineffective as Victor Martinez smacked a two-run single that brought in the two runners Morales inherited.
Buchholz was roughed up in Game 2 of the series as well. In 5 2/3 innings, Detroit pushed across five runs and smashed a pair of home runs against Buchholz.
In his first start of the playoffs, Buchholz allowed three runs in six innings against the Rays in a 5-4 ALDS Game 3 loss.
Buchholz posted a 1.74 ERA and a 12-1 record in 16 starts this regular season. He has never faced the Cardinals in his seven-year career.
Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha received much of the hype for their pitching performances in the NLDS and NLCS for the Cardinals. But Lynn’s contributions in St. Louis’ NLCS win over the Dodgers should not be overlooked.
He earned a Game 4 win at Los Angeles in his most recent start on Oct. 15. Lynn lasted 5 1/3 innings and gave up two runs, six hits and three walks while striking out five.
Four days earlier, in Game 1 of the series, Lynn made an extra-inning appearance. Lynn pitched the 12th and 13th innings, shutting out the Dodgers and snagging the win thanks to a walk-off single by Carlos Beltran in the 13th.
He also made one start in the NLDS vs. the Pirates, but it was an ugly one. Lynn allowed five runs, seven hits and three walks in just 4 1/3 innings.
|10.27.13 at 1:59 am ET|
ST. LOUIS — Red Sox manager John Farrell raised eyebrows with his decision to let pitcher Brandon Workman hit for himself in the top of the ninth inning, rather than employing a pinch-hitter (at a time when Mike Napoli, David Ross and Quintin Berry were on the bench). The decision became even more puzzling when, in the bottom of the ninth, Farrell lifted Workman in favor of closer Koji Uehara after a one-out single.
Farrell suggested that he did have the Sox in a flawed position in the batting order, but suggested that the mistake he made occurred when Workman entered the game in the bottom of the eighth, rather than by letting Workman hit for himself in the ninth. In retrospect, Farrell said, he should have employed a double-switch, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia (who made the final out of the top of the eighth inning) getting taken out of the game in favor of David Ross, thus putting Ross (who would have been put in the ninth spot in the lineup) in place to bat second in the ninth inning, and Workman’s spot in the order (seventh) not due up for nine hitters.
“In hindsight, probably should have double-switched after Salty made the final out the previous inning, with Workman coming in the game. I felt like we get into an extended situation, which that game was looking like it was going to — held [Napoli] back in the event that spot came up again,” said Farrell. “In hindsight having Workman hit against [Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal, who blew away Workman on three fastballs] is a mismatch. I recognize it, but we needed more than one inning out of Workman.”
Farrell further clarified that he didn’t want to use Uehara for a full two innings, thus further playing into the decision to let Workman hit in the ninth once he had missed the opportunity to double-switch.
“I felt like we had four outs with Koji, four to five outs,” said Farrell. “If the thought was to go for a two-inning outing for Koji, we would have pinch-hit for Workman the inning before. We were trying to get two innings out of Workman. Once his pitch count was getting in the 30s range, with the go-ahead run on base, that was the time to bring Koji in, even though this would have been five outs. We fully expected him to go back out for the 10th.”
|10.27.13 at 1:36 am ET|
ST. LOUIS — The World Series umpiring crew offered its explanation of what may become one of the most controversial rulings in baseball history. Crew chief John Hirschbeck, third base umpire Jim Joyce (who made the obstruction ruling that ended up resulting in Allen Craig being awarded home plate for the 5-4 Cardinals walkoff victory in the bottom of the ninth) and home plate ump Dana DeMuth, along with MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre, addressed the media following the game.
First, the obstruction rule as defined:
Obstruction is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner.
Rule 2.00 (Obstruction) Comment: If a fielder is about to receive a thrown ball and if the ball is in flight directly toward and near enough to the fielder so he must occupy his position to receive the ball he may be considered “in the act of fielding a ball.” It is entirely up to the judgment of the umpire as to whether a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball. After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the “act of fielding” the ball. For example: an infielder dives at a ground ball and the ball passes him and he continues to lie on the ground and delays the progress of the runner, he very likely has obstructed the runner.
Some highlights of the press conference — which featured Hirschbeck proclaiming the ruling a “great call” by Joyce:
HIRSCHBECK WITH AN EXPLANATION OF THE OBSTRUCTION RULE Read the rest of this entry »
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