In a bizarre Red Sox season, Wednesday’s game against the Yankees stacks up against any other as one of the strangest.
Most notably, the Red Sox made a number of uniquely costly errors which cost them at least three of the five runs the Yankees generated in a 5-3 loss (and at least one run of their own).
The first error was this single in the top of the fifth inning, which the Red Sox — in trademark 2022 fashion — somehow allowed the Yankees to stretch into a Little League homer. With runners on first and second and no runs on the board, Gleyber Torres singled to right. That likely would have scored Aaron Hicks from second even with a good throw.
Verdugo’s throw wasn’t particularly good, but Connor Wong compounded the problem enormously by trying to catch Torres in no man’s land between first and second. It would have worked … except Wong’s throw sailed past Christian Arroyo, who laid out at first base trying to snag it. The ball skipped down the line, and Verdugo had to hustle back over to get it back to the infield. Kiké Hernandez’s relay home was too late, and the Yankees suddenly had a three-run lead.
The Yankees got another gift run from the Red Sox thanks to the outfield troubles of Abraham Almonte in the ninth. Almonte — who got a look at centerfield — first misplayed a one-out fly ball by Giancarlo Stanton.
Stanton was credited with a double.
Then, to make matters worse, Almonte bounced a deep fly by Torres off the heel of his glove on the warning track. Fenway Park scorers ruled it an error, which may have been a little harsh, but Almonte looked deeply uncomfortable as he tracked the ball back to the wall.
Self-inflicted damage wasn’t limited to the defensive side. J.D. Martinez also appeared to beat a throw to first base trying to prevent a double play in the eighth inning after he hit a one-out grounder to short with the bases loaded.
When the Yankees called for a review, however, it was clear that Martinez simply never stepped on the bag.
Martinez’s misstep cost the Red Sox a run and an opportunity to hit with runners on first and third with two out. Instead, they entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 5-2 after Almonte’s eventful top of the frame.
Chaim Bloom has a lot of work ahead of him this offseason. Nobody looks more ready to reach the offseason than the team he assembled.
– Nestor Cortes was born for the spotlight.
Whether or not this pitch is legal remains up for debate — Rob Friedman, who runs the popular Pitching Ninja Twitter account above, noted in the thread that it was NOT a balk but could have still been illegal.
But Cortes’ pitching flair is very fun to watch. He threw five innings and struck out seven, allowing a run and a walk.
– For good measure, here’s one more bizarre play — a double steal which the Yankees timed perfectly as Connor Wong threw the ball back to Brayan Bello. The rookie pitcher looked shaken and fired a bad throw to third. Rafael Devers was forced to make a spectacular diving play to keep the ball in play.
Bello, to his credit, pitched his way out of the jam without allowing a run. The 23-year-old struck out six and did not allow an earned run in five innings, although he was saddled with the loss after Wong’s throwing error allowed three runs to score.
– After homering twice to reach 57 for the season on Tuesday, Aaron Judge went 1-for-4 and struck out twice on Wednesday.
The Red Sox start a three-game home series against the Royals on Friday at 7:10 p.m.
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