Red Sox base running strikes again:
All season long, the Red Sox have played with what at times amounted to reckless abandon on the base paths. Today was another such case. After mounting a rally in the top of the 2nd after falling behind 2-0 in the 1st, the Red Sox were threatening as Sandy Leon grounded a base hit up the middle through the shift. With Mitch Moreland on second and Dustin Pedroia on first, Moreland should have been able to score easily and without drama.
HOWEVER – Pedroia, still thinking he’s in his mid-20s and stealing 20 bags each year, tried to make it from first to third on the strong arm of Astros right fielder and old friend Josh Reddick. While Pedroia was promptly thrown out, Moreland was barely able to score in time for the third and final out of the inning to be recorded. It was a dangerous play by Pedroia to make and one that ultimately killed the potential for an even greater rally with Jackie Bradley Jr. and the top of the lineup coming up against a Justin Verlander, who seemed less than stellar early on in the game.
If the Red Sox want to push this series to 4, even 5 games, they’ll need to be smarter on the bases. While I’m all for aggressive base running, the players need to know what constitutes reckless base running and what constitutes opportunistic base running. Too often does this team seem to tow that line. If they want to be able to hang with this Houston offense, they can’t be giving up outs on the bases.