Closing Time: Another lost replay review, silent bats doom Red Sox in Game 1 loss to Rays

Rob Bradford
May 01, 2014 - 12:36 pm
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The Red Sox aren't having much luck with instant replay. And Thursday afternoon, it might have cost them big-time in what resulted in 2-1 loss to the Rays. The Sox found themselves on the short end of a close play at the plate in the seventh inning of their Game 1 meeting with the Rays Thursday. Dustin Pedroia appeared he may have beaten the throw home on David Ortiz' double off the left field wall. After a review, the umpires determined there wasn't enough evidence to overturn the call made by first base umpire Toby Basner (who was rotating over as home plate ump CB Bucknor had gone to monitor third). While it seemed as though Pedroia's foot had beaten the tag from catcher Jose Molina, determining if the baserunner had hit the plate on the replay was difficult due to a cloud of dirt kicked up during the action. "I mean, I don'€™t really know what the rules are. I just know if you plow the catcher, you'€™re ejected, out, then fined and suspended. So I think my job is to go as hard as I can at the back part of the plate and slide, and I did that," Pedroia said. The second baseman later added, "I think that'€™s a little frustrating. There'€™s really nothing more you can say. I just don'€™t like the whole inconclusive deal. With replay you'€™re either out or safe, I don'€™t know what inconclusive means. Maybe it means someone doesn'€™t want to make a decision. We all make decisions  every day. Some of the hard some of them are not. You have to make them though." After crew chief Dale Scott announced the ruling, marking the second out in the inning, Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield flung his helmet and began to vehemently argue the call, resulting in an ejection. "I thought his foot went across the plate. I thought he was going to be called safe," said Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli, who on-deck at the time of the play. "I was right there, telling him to slide." It marked the fourth time in plays they've challenged that the Red Sox have come up empty with the new video replay system. (The process this time took one minute, 52 seconds.) Coming into the game, 45 percent of the calls challenged have been overturned. The play highlighted another frustrating offensive day for the Red Sox, who have now been held to one or fewer runs six times this season. Here is what went wrong (and right) for the first Red Sox in their first game of a split doubleheader: WHAT WENT WRONG - David DeJesus tied the game at 1-1 in the third inning thanks to one of the shortest home runs possible in the world of Major League baseball, lining one just over the wall just feet down the line from the Pesky Pole in right. - DeJesus plated the Rays' second run, as well, forcing in Desmond Jennings after Red Sox starter Jake Peavy executed just his sixth career bases-loaded walk. - The Red Sox stranded the potential game-tying run at second base in the form of Pedroia, with Ortiz ending the game with a ground out back to the pitcher. WHAT WENT RIGHT - Peavy turned in another solid outing, this time allowing two runs on three hits over 6 1/3 innings. The righty struck out four and walked five while throwing 113 pitches. Peavy's ERA now stands at 2.87. - The Red Sox hitters were able to drive a very effective Cesar Ramos from the game after just 4 2/3 innings. The Rays' starter threw 95 pitches (only 53 of which were strikes), walking six but giving up just one hit. The lone knock off of Ramos came in the first inning when Jonny Gomes singled in Pedroia to give the Sox a 1-0 first-inning lead. - Reliever Burke Badenhop pitched a flawless inning of relief, striking out two.

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