Alex Cora on OMF: Red Sox 'ready to roll' after 17-inning loss

Amin Touri
June 19, 2019 - 3:47 pm

Just over 12 hours after the Red Sox fell to the Minnesota Twins in a 17-inning marathon on Tuesday night, Boston manager Alex Cora made his weekly appearance on OMF on WEEI on Wednesday to talk about the game that wouldn’t end.

Tuesday’s game stretched into the early hours of Wednesday morning, wrapping up just before 2 a.m. on the east coast, though Cora did actually manage to get some sleep before hopping on with Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni and Christian Fauria.

"I did [get some sleep> actually,” Cora said. “Got back at 1:30 am (central time), got up at 10, workout, breakfast, walked around, and ready to roll."

After a dominant offensive weekend in Baltimore, the Red Sox were back to old habits Tuesday night in Minneapolis, going 1-for-13 with men in scoring position and squandering several opportunities to win the game throughout extras.

"I think that's something we have to do, put teams away,” said Cora. “For a while there we didn't do it, yesterday we had a lot of chances, we had the leadoff guy on I think six or seven times and we didn't score, we had second and third with one out and we didn't score, we didn't put the ball in play in certain situations and you saw. Overall, since the third game against Texas I think it was, the at-bats have been better with men in scoring position, we're putting the ball in play and obviously, we're driving the ball out of the ballpark, which is very important, but yesterday that wasn't the case."

The Sox skipper also spoke about potential rule changes to curtail those sorts of marathon affairs, having been a part of the World Baseball Classic in 2017 when some of those rules were implemented.

“I was part of the WBC in 2017 and we had a game against the Netherlands and in the 10th inning I think it was, they put a man at (first and) second to start the inning, and that's like the most exciting thing ever, because with one pitch it changes the game,” he said. “In the beginning, I was against it, but then when you're a part of it it's like wow, this is crazy. They put runners at first and second with no outs, and they you have to measure how you're going to manage the game.”

Cora posed the question to Merloni — first and second with no outs, the opposition bunts the runners over to set up second and third with one out, what do you do? Play the infield in? Play them back? Confident his team would score in the bottom of the inning Merloni opted for the second option, but pointed out that it would depend on the situation, who’s pitching, where the teams are in the order for instance.

"That's what comes into play with that type of rules,” Cora said. “Do you bunt him over, do you walk the next guy, do you pitch him in, it was unreal. I think it was 13 innings, and it was amazing, but I don't think that's going to be the case in the big leagues."

In the bottom of the 17th Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario tried to bunt a runner over but fouled it off, with the Red Sox dugout claiming Rosario had stepped out of the box and should be called out — according to Cora, Rosario has a habit of doing so, and the coaching staff was ready to notify the umpires if he tried — though replays showed Rosario never fully stepped out of the box, and Cora apologized to the umpiring crew afterward.

"It happened that he wasn't (out of the box),” Cora said, “I saw the replay after the game, I grabbed the phone, called the umpires and said 'Hey, my fault man. Sorry to show you up like that,' and we move on. You apologize in front of the media and you're accountable, it was my mistake that I reacted that way."

The second-year manager also addressed postgame comments from David Price, after the big lefty said he was feeling “alright” at this point in the season.

"You ask Chris Sale and he'll tell you he's 'alright,' and Porcello, that's the grind of the season, that's how it is,” Cora said. “There's nothing going on, so we'll take care of those guys and they'll be ready."