Tomorrow morning every sportstalk radio host in Boston will be throwing Craig Breslow under the bus for making a critical throwing error that scored the go-ahead run during the Cardinals' three-run rally in the seventh inning.
If we're lucky, we'll even get to hear Curt Schilling chime in his two cents. And about a thousand words more.
Yes, it was a terrible play that helped cost the Red Sox a 2-0 lead in the World Series, but the biggest miscue might have been the one nobody saw.
When Matt Carpenter cued a lazy fly ball to shallow left, Jon Jay inexplicably wandered halfway off second base. By the time Jonny Gomes made the catch, he had barely managed to take a few steps back and made a frantic attempt to avoid getting doubled off. If he had gone the shorter route, Gomes could have nailed Jay before Pete Kozma scored the tying run from third.
Double play. Rally over.
Jay was an accurate throw away from becoming the 2013 version of Jeff Suppan.
Watching the play closely, it is conceivable that Jay may have been spying on Gomes to see whether or not he was looking in his direction before he made the catch. The thing is, outfielders don't really start paying attention to the baserunners until after the ball lands safely in their mitt.
Dustin Pedroia saw Jay in no man's land and ran to cover second, but Gomes never looked in his direction as he turned, squared his shoulders, took two steps forward and heaved the ball toward home plate. A quick strike to second would have taken about a second faster, which is equivalent to three hours during a crucial play in any sport.
It's no surprise that Tim McCarver missed this during his analysis (with Fox showing the entire field during the replay no less), but there may be a discussion regarding baserunners during Boston's next team meeting.
Red Sox fans of course, know how fatal it can be to ignore anyone on the basepaths. During the Mets' infamous rally during the 1986 World Series, Bob Stanley could have easily picked off a wandering Ray Knight had he thrown the ball to Marty Barrett, who was standing right on second base.
We all know what happened next.
In Gomes' defense, it's every outfielder's impulse to throw home with less than two outs and a runner on third.
Now we know why Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
He sees everybody.
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