Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
You would have thought after Game 2 the Boston Red Sox would think twice about throwing the ball to 3rd after a play at the plate. Well, if they have another opportunity in this World Series, PLEASE DON’T THROW IT!!!! Game 3 of the 2013 World Series will forever be remembered as the game that ended on an obstruction call that Red Sox fans will hate and Cardinals fans will say was the right call (and they’re right).
Whether you think it was the right call or not, there is no disputing one fact: The Red Sox have lost 2 World Series games due to 2 poor throws to 3rd base. John Farrell is probably happy today that the play happened, so he won’t have to answer the Mike Napoli question over and over and over again. So John, how exactly do you leave Napoli on the bench and let Brandon Workman hit in the top of the 9th in a tie game in the World Series? Workman was so important to be in there for that at bat, he faced exactly 2 batters in the bottom of the 9th and then was removed for Koji Uehara after Yadier Molina’s single with one out. This is one of the many typical 2nd guessing type of questions that would be everywhere today if not for the final play of the game.
Allen Craig then laced Koji’s first pitch for a double into the left field corner, setting up the final play. With runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out, John Farrell chose to pitch to Jon Jay, instead of walking him to load the bases and set up the potential inning ending double play. Jay hit a ball to Dustin Pedroia’s right, Pedroia dove and made a great play to coral the ball and he got up enough to throw the ball to home to get Molina as he was trying to score.
After tagging out Molina, Jarrod Saltalamacchia threw the ball towards 3rd base in an attempt to get Craig. Will Middlebrooks was falling towards the infield as he was attempting to catch Salty’s throw, the ball got through and went down the left field line, Craig got up from his slide and stumbled over Middlebrooks still laying on the ground, and the obstruction call was made immediately by 3rd base umpire Jim Joyce, awarding Craig home plate and thus the Cardinals a Game 3 victory.
After a night of reflecting and settling my emotions down, I can now say that it was the right call on a bad rule. The St Louis Cardinals were not handed a 2-1 Series lead. They have made the plays and pitches necessary to get there, and the Red Sox have made a couple critical mistakes throwing the ball to 3rd. The Red Sox need to move past last night’s game and get back to the team they have been all year – Resilient, determined, and playing as a team to overcome whatever obstacle is in their way. That is what it will take to win 3 out of the last 4 games of this World Series and bring another Championship to Yawkey Way. GO SOX!!!