The Boston Red Sox still have the best record in the American League. However, their two game lead over the Baltimore Orioles should really be four games after they were robbed this weekend in Detroit by the three headed monster of steroids, umpires, and John Farrell.
On Thursday night, the Red Sox lost 4-3 to the Detroit Tigers on a walk off home run by Jhonny Peralta. When Anthony Bosch‘s steroid list is released later this year, Peralta’s name is very likely to be on it and he will be suspended for 50 games. His two-run home run will last though, and it cost the Red Sox a game.
Andrew Bailey blew that save, his fourth in 12 opportunities this season. He was rightly demoted from the closer role afterwards. This is supposed to mean that the manager no longer trusts him in critical situations. A demoted closer should be brought into games like Saturday’s 10-3 loss when the damage has already been done. They certainly shouldn’t be brought into games in the seventh inning with their team leading 4-3.
Unfortunately that’s exactly what Farrell did with Bailey on Sunday afternoon. This unbridled confidence in his players may help his image in the clubhouse, but it’s costing the Red Sox games. Bailey allowed two of the three batters he faced to reach base before being pulled. One of them ended up scoring and the game was tied.
Boston Bruins‘ coach Claude Julien uses this same coaching model. However, what works in the NHL doesn’t work in MLB. Julien continues to roll four lines as coach because he has faith and confidence in the depth of his team. When he does, it pays dividends as Boston’s fourth line is better than every other team’s in the league.
In baseball though, when a pitcher doesn’t have confidence, you don’t help him regain that by putting him in critical situations. That’s a great way to blow games and damage a pitcher’s confidence even more so.
Finally, the Red Sox weren’t helped by the umpires either. You may have seen the Daniel Nava dropped pop fly in the eighth inning by now. If you have, you have seen indisputable proof that Nava caught the fly ball hit to him before dropping it on the transfer. However, the umpire who was 200 feet away thought otherwise, and the go-ahead run reached second base. The Tigers of course went on to win 7-5.
The Red Sox had a great opportunity to win a game they were two to one underdogs in. The former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander didn’t have his best stuff, and it showed as he allowed ten base runners in five innings. This game, along with Thursday’s, were games the Red Sox should have won. Instead the Tigers took three of four, and the Red Sox leave Detroit disappointed.