The misfortune leading to the latest Red Sox loss was almost comical.
One of William Shakespeare’s earliest works was called “The Comedy of Errors,” a farcical story filled with absurd humor and foolish mistakes. Last night’s Boston Red Sox game was a lot like that.
The miscues began early with one out in the first inning after Red Sox starter Zack Godley had loaded the bases.
Joey Wendle hit a harmless ground ball that was scooped up by Michael Chavis. The first baseman appeared ready to throw home to prevent the run from scoring and potentially ready himself to receive the return throw from the catcher to complete an inning-ending double play.
Instead, the ball got stuck in his glove, preventing him from making a throw. Chavis had to settle for stepping on the first base bag to record the second out of the inning as the runner from third scored to give the Rays an early lead.
Chavis blamed himself for the previous night’s loss because he made a poor throw home when going to first would have been the better option. This time he should have gone home but couldn’t make the throw. It certainly wasn’t his fault the ball got caught in his glove but his misfortune proved costly nonetheless.
Godley had nobody to blame but himself for the solo shot to center field that led off the second inning but the damage should have been limited to that one run.
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Rays star outfielder Austin Meadows hit a routine pop fly to shallow right field that Kevin Pillar lost track of in the dusk grey sky. Instead of the third out to retire the side, the ball dropped in for a base hit between Pillar and Jackie Bradley Jr.
I’m not sure who should be more embarrassed on that play – Pillar for failing to make the catch or Meadows for turning a double into a single by not hustling out of the box. Not that it really mattered which base the runner was on since Brandon Lowe immediately followed with a two-run homer.
His defense didn’t let him down in the third inning but let’s call Godley’s cutter that barely moved as it floated over the middle of the plate a mistake. Yoshi Tsutsugo crushed it over 400 feet to right field for a two-run homer.
Godley was mercifully lifted with nobody out in the fourth inning but was still charged with two runs in the frame. It hardly mattered what happened after that as the Red Sox were already buried.
Obviously this was an ugly performance from Godley. Eight runs, including three home runs, was easily his worst appearance in a Red Sox uniform. The results weren’t entirely the pitcher’s fault though.
If it weren’t for a glove malfunction, the Rays may not have scored in the first inning. If Pillar makes a routine catch on a fly ball, the second inning ends before Godley coughs up another homer. Even if you assume Lowe takes him deep to lead off the third inning, at least it’s only a solo shot.
Despite that the team wasn’t charged with an error, the Red Sox were done in by a couple of bizarre plays. The offense staged a rally in the 8th inning but the hole they had put themselves in early proved to be too deep. That five-run frame would suddenly have made this an entirely different ball game if the early absurdities hadn’t tagged Godley with at least a couple of undeserved runs.
When things aren’t going well for a team, these types of fluke plays seem to find them. Everything went wrong for the Red Sox to the point where it was almost comical. Unfortunately, that’s how this entire season has gone. At this point, you’ll be forgiven if you burst out laughing at the team’s misfortune since the alternative may be to break down and cry.