If defense wins championships, a play Wednesday night showed why the Red Sox are last in the AL East.
When Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres slapped a two-out hit into right field with runners on first and second in a scoreless game in the fifth inning, the ensuing circus was as brutal to watch as it was predictable.
Before showing the play, here’s what happened: Right fielder Alex Verdugo came up firing home instead of hitting the cutoff man, and the throw went completely offline, allowing Aaron Hicks to score with ease. When catcher Connor Wong, playing his 14th game this season, came up the line to cut the ball off, Torres took a huge turn at first.
Wong, rather than either chasing Torres back or throwing to second, tried to backpick Torres when he was already halfway up the line. He missed his connection with Christian Arroyo and Verdugo fielded it in right again. On the throw in, this time it was cut off, and Torres came in behind Judge for a three-run little league home run to take a 3-0 lead.
It was really bad baseball.
Little League Home Run 👀🤷♂️
Gleyber Torres drives in 3!
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) September 15, 2022
A quick and dirty power ranking of the mistakes on this play:
- 3. Verdugo’s casual throw into Arroyo with Torres coming home (could be attributed to exhaustion).
- 2. Verdugo missing the cutoff man on the initial throw after the hit, allowing the runners to advance and Torres to get into second.
- 1. Wong throwing the ball into the outfield with Torres halfway up the line to second base, allowing the third run to come around.
This kind of thing simply keeps happening to the Red Sox. Jarren Duran allowed the inside the park grand slam from hell when he gave up on a ball in Fenway, where these things seem to just keep happening. Torres now has seven RBI in his last two games, including driving in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning Tuesday night.
Although this mistake was more honest, it’s still a slip-up in fundamentals, an alarming trend from the 2022 Red Sox. The fact this happened against the Yankees only adds insult to injury.