August 29, 2010


J.D. Drew says that as he chased after Matt Joyce's fly ball -- with Carlos Pena on third base and Boston leading 1-0 in the seventh inning -- he was thinking "Let it drop".
I don't really know how in the world I caught it. ... I had every intention of letting it drop. Just instinct, you know. Put the glove out right at the last second as I saw the ball coming down, and it ended up in there.
If you let the ball drop and he walks, there's two guys on and the next pitch he hits a two-run homer. It's a difficult situation. But in that part of the game, Clay's throwing the ball pretty well. He's got a good chance 3-2, but you never know what's going to happen. Looking back, it could have gone either way. Who knows what the next pitch holds if I don't catch it?
On NESN, Jerry Remy was insistent that making the catch was the right decision. "You need outs." It was only the seventh inning, and even though the game was now tied, the Red Sox still had two more innings in which to bat.

However, a few Red Sox players said that Drew should have let the ball drop. Terry Francona seemed to agree.
He doesn't have a lot of time to think. I think the only way it's in our best interest [to catch it] is if he feels like he can catch it and get turned around [to make a good throw]. ... I think he was definitely thinking [let it drop], but he stuck his glove out and it ended up going in.
As far as the ill-advised throw to first base that moved Pena from first to third, it was not Clay Buchholz's decision. It came from the bench. Although Francona said he knew Pena would not be running, DeMarlo Hale said they did not want Pena to get any kind of lead in a 1-0 game. (He had only a two-step lead at most, anyway.) Buchholz says he simply threw it away.
I've done it 1,000 times. I tried to get it over there a little too quick, and he wasn't as far off as I thought he was. ... It was basically just a check-over throw, just make sure that he knew that I still knew he was over there. I screwed it up.


Jim said...

In the "selective memory" column or "you don't know what you don't see". The relationship between Hale and Tito. In past years, I recall countless shots of Mills and Tito conferring in the Sox dugout during games and countless post-game quotes from Tito about how "Millsy" helps him out. Tito and Hale? Not so much. I wonder. (I also wonder exactly what a bench coach is supposed to do, but that's a topic for another day).

allan said...

Hale was just the guy mentioned in the story as saying they wanted to keep Pena close. No idea if he was actually sending the signs to HH or Victor about a throw. He might have - or that might have been Tito.

Bench coach: Make sure Tito's tea is always warm?

Jim said...

Yeah, it wasn't clear who actually relayed the sign. Buch was pretty clear about it coming from "the bench", though. I don't blame him, since the whole issue about his throw-overs has been rehashed ad infinitum for 2 seasons now.

And that would be Bigelows Green Tea. C'mon--don't let discussion get in the way of the commercials. Or maybe it's the in-game commercials blocking out Tito/Marlo tete-a-tetes. Get Nick on it.

Michael Holloway said...

Late in a close game, at home, you go for the out. With last at-bats the statistical advantage goes to the home team.

Do the statistics bear that old adage out?