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Ian Kinsler on game-changing error: 'I feel terrible'

Rob Bradford
October 27, 2018 - 5:22 am

LOS ANGELES -- There's no way around it.

If Ian Kinsler makes the play on Yasiel Puig's grounder up the middle -- the kind of play the second baseman has routinely executed this season -- the Red Sox are heading into Game 4 of the World Series one win away from a championship. But he didn't make it. So the Red Sox are left with potentially one of the most memorable moments in the club's postseason history, and the ultimate test of their resiliency heading into Saturday night.

"I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help this team win. I feel terrible," Kinsler said after what would result in a 3-2, 18-inning win for the Dodgers. "I feel terrible for (relief pitcher) Nate (Eovaldi, who was forced to throw five more innings after the miscue. "I feel like I let the team down right there and next opportunity try to seize it."

While it had gotten a bit uncomfortable with Max Muncy at second base with two outs and the Red Sox clinging to the one-run lead they had mustered in the top of the 13th inning, the visitors still seemed in a good spot with Eovaldi on the mound.

The optimism appeared warranted when Puig topped an Eovaldi high fastball, sending it just to the right of second base where Kinsler could be seen charging in. But just as the Gold Glove second baseman started to make his throw to first base his right foot slipped out from under him, causing the toss to first baseman Christian Vazquez to sail wide, allowing the game-tying run into come in.

"I lost my footing a little bit but right there," explained Kinsler. "I was trying to keep the ball in with a guy on second base, try not to let that ball go up the middle. I over-ran it a little bit and then when I planted to turn to throw, the turf kind of gave way in the act of throwing and just sailed it wide. I just had the last out in my glove and couldn’t get it over there. It was tough to swallow."

After the game, Kinsler's manager and teammates were quick to stand by his side.

"He owned up to it. He apologized to me and I told him he had nothing to apologize for," Eovaldi said. "We're a team, I know you got my back and I've got his and it's a team effort, it's not just one guy."

"It seemed like he was a little off balance when he caught it," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "He's one of the best defensive second basemen in the big leagues. He's been making that play for a while and just threw it away."

"We lost together. We win together," said Red Sox third baseman Eduardo Nunez. "I think anyone can make a mistake. It’s not a big deal. Tomorrow, we’re going to be a new day. He’s a huge part for our team. He makes unbelievable plays all the time. One time he makes a mistake, it happens for anyone."