The Ryan Dempster-Alex Rodriguez at-bat in the top of the second inning during Sunday night’s game actually cost the Boston Red Sox the ballgame.
The at-bat was handled poorly by Dempster. His first pitch was behind A-Rod at the knees. That was Dempster’s chance to drill the guy, and he failed. The proper bean ball should be placed directly between the 1 and the 3 on Rodriguez’ back, not down at the knees and certainly not up near the head.
The next two pitches were in and off the plate, but were in no way even close to drilling Rodriguez. Although, you would never know it based on the elbows-tucked, arms-up hop A-Rod gives when a ball is inside that reminds me of a 16-year-old girl that just walked into a spider web.
Then, on the 0-3 count, it appeared that Dempster conceded he was not going to win the battle with Rodriguez, so he put one on Rodriguez’ ribs.
The umpire handled the situation incorrectly. Dempster should have been tossed, which in itself might have been beneficial for the Red Sox considering his penchant for allowing big innings.
Joe Girardi blew a gasket when there were simply warnings issued after bean ball, and say what you want about momentum, but it exists, and that ejection built an ember that would later explode.
Later in the game, A-Rod drilled a one-run home run to dead center field; and while it didn’t even tie the game as the New York Yankees were still trailing, the writing was on the wall after that point.
There is an art to drilling a batter. If handled properly, it can benefit a team; if not, it can sabotage it, and the poor execution by Dempster cost the Red Sox on Sunday night.