Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Curse Of The Dropped Foul Tip

Last night, somewhere around Bedard's 42nd pitch, Jarrod Saltalamachhia dropped a foul tip that would have been the third strike on Robert Andino and the second out of the 3rd inning. Andino singled. Hardy popped out which should have gotten Bedard out of the inning with about 50 pitches. After this, the deluge.

Markakis doubled scoring Andino; Guerrero reached on Reddick's Little League fielding error, scoring Markakis; Wieters walked; Jones walked; Reynolds singled scoring two more. End of the night for Bedard with 76 pitches—about 30 more pitches than he should have needed to escape the 3rd unscathed.

The Red Sox came back from the 4-1 deficit to take a 5-4 lead, but it was really this sequence—centered on the dropped third strike—that ultimately led to the defeat. Some would argue that foul tips are the ultimate crap shoot. They say that catchers cannot be expected to get them all. Agreed. But, from where I was sitting in my $50 obstructed view seat, this was an easy one—simply dropping out of Salty's glove. Maybe. Maybe not. But, in the end that play was as much to blame for the loss as the implosion of the back end of the bullpen.