Sunday, July 7, 2013
Error costs Sox; will injuries hurt worse?
By Dan Arritt, Special to ESPNBoston.com
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Brandon Snyder found himself caught between a flip and a toss Saturday night.
The Boston Red Sox third baseman fielded a ground ball to his left off the bat of Howie Kendrick with two outs in the ninth, runners on first and third and his team clinging to a one-run lead. His first instinct was to underhand a throw to Dustin Pedroia covering second base, but then he looked up and realized he was further away from the bag than he thought.
In just his seventh game with the Red Sox since he was called up from the minors on June 26, Snyder quickly readjusted for an overhand throw, but the ball sailed over Pedroia's head, allowing the tying run to score.
Andrew Miller couldn't put any weight on his foot as he walked off after being injured on a comebacker.
The Red Sox would go on to lose 9-7 on a two-run homer by Josh Hamilton in the 11th, ending their five-game winning streak after surrendering a four-run advantage with two outs in the ninth, their biggest blown lead of the season. The loss could be even costlier, as top reliever Andrew Miller had to be taken to the hospital for X-rays on the top of his left foot and starting right fielder Shane Victorino was removed after experiencing tightness in his left hamstring.
The results of those injuries won't be known until Sunday, when the Red Sox face the Angels in the finale of their three-game series.
"Tough ballgame to lose," said Boston manager John Farrell.
Snyder, who entered the game in the seventh inning after pinch-hitting for starting third baseman Brock Holt, said he was forced to hurry his throw when he realized how far he was from the second-base bag with the speedy Hamilton barreling down on Pedroia. He said he never got a good grip on the ball.
"It's just one of those plays that, I can promise you, there's not a worse feeling," said Snyder, who was a first-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 2005 but didn't make his major league debut until September 2010. "You can tuck your head in and hide or you can go get them tomorrow. It's one of those things -- if I had that play 100 more times, I think I'd make it 99."
From his vantage point, Farrell said the errant throw had more to do with Snyder's feet than his hands.
"The footwork is what caused the throw to sail high," Farrell said.
Miller was injured after he dodged a comebacker in the seventh inning and then collapsed when he took a few steps while backing up to home plate. He did not put any weight on the foot as he was helped from the field. Miller, a 6-foot-7 left-hander, had posted a 1.31 ERA in his previous 20 appearances.
Victorino appeared to injure his hamstring after legging out a triple in the sixth inning. He stayed in the game until Jonny Gomes pinch-hit for him in the ninth.