Houston's Jake Marisnick celebrates making it all the way home from first base. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Explaining the play that summed up Red Sox' season

Rob Bradford
July 21, 2015 - 8:26 pm

HOUSTON -- It was not only the signature play in the Red Sox' 8-3 loss to the Astros Tuesday night, but perhaps also helped define the misery of the Sox' season. With the Red Sox seemingly in somewhat good shape -- leading 3-1 with one out in the fifth inning -- rookie pitcher Brian Johnson was faced with runners on first and third and one out. With the count 0-1 to Houston hitter Jose Altuve, catcher Ryan Hanigan called for a high fastball, sensing the runner at first, speedy Jake Marisnick, was going to attempt a steal. Sure enough, Marisnick took off, with Hanigan gathering in the 83 mph offering from Johnson. With the slow-footed Chris Carter on third, Hanigan threw what appeared to be a strike to shortstop Xander Bogaerts. But before Bogaerts could receive the ball, it ricocheted off of Marisnick's left forearm, flying into shallow left field. Not only did Carter score, but Marisnick -- whom Statcast measured as going a top speed of 20.4 mph on the play -- had sprung up, raced around third (at third base coach Gary Pettis' urging) and scored the game-tying run. "It matters who's on third," said Hanigan in regards to why he threw through. "Marisnick's real fast, so it's going to be a bang-bang play at second. We were trying to get him. If it was probably a foot to the left, I would've got him, I think. I think the ball might've beat him there. He got a decent jump. We had a chance at him. It's unfortunate they got both those runs there. They didn't have to drive them in. Turned the game around for them. Kind of momentum shift." Left fielder Hanley Ramirez couldn't gather in the errant throw and toss it home in time for a close play to be had at the plate. "I was playing down near the line," Ramirez explained when asked about the play. "That'€™s what happens when you'€™re not playing good. Things don'€™t go your way. We'€™re not going to give up. Come to the field. Keep working hard. Hopefully it turns around quick. Nobody in here is a loser. Everybody here knows how to win, and everybody wants to win. When things are going this way you have to just keep fighting and keep playing hard." Ramirez then went on to further elaborate on the last-place Red Sox' current lot in life, saying, "Talent doesn'€™t mean anything. You have to do work on the field. You don'€™t need talent to see what happened on that play. It doesn'€™t mean anything. You just have to come in with positive thoughts and try and turn things around." The Astros went on to score two more runs in the fifth, taking the lead for good while driving Johnson from the game. (For a video of the play, click here.)