Michael Pineda may have embarrassed the Yankees with his indiscreet use of pine tar on Wednesday, but the Red Sox embarrassed themselves last night by playing one of the worst games in the history of baseball.
It’s not just that they lost, 14-5. It’s that the Sox looked more like the Bad News Bears, making five errors by the official count. At one point Brett Gardner hit a little bouncer to the first base side of the mound that wouldn’t have rolled to the base path, and it bounced through Sox “pitcher” Felix Doubront’s legs; the scorers ruled it a hit. Should have been error number six. (Caveat: The Globe says it was an error; as I was watching the game, it was scored a hit. This box score has it ruled an error. So…I guess the ruling did get changed.)
Doubront was also stolen on three times in that inning, mostly because he looked like he couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to anything that was happening behind him.
The Sox’s play was so bad, it actually distracted from the Pineda fiasco the night before, and the fact that Pineda was suspended for ten games, meaning he’ll miss two starts. As the Times put it,
The mess that was smeared across Michael Pineda’s neck on Wednesday was nothing compared with the slop that was on display at Fenway Park one night later.
But the fact is, the Pineda fiasco felt relevant to what happened last night. Presumably neither Doubront nor Yankee pitcher C.C. Sabathia were using pine tar because of what happened to Pineda, but the weather was equally cold, and both pitchers had control problems; there were 18 walks in the game, and two hit batters by Sabathia, who usually has impeccable control.
Now everybody seems to think that the pine tar rule should be changed.
Pineda, by the way, has apologized about five times, and I’m actually kind of starting to feel sorry for him. H was wildly denounced as a dummy—yes, by me too—but is he really a martyr? If this episode prompts the league to reconsider the pine tar rule, a lot of players might be thanking him, both pitchers who don’t have to break a rule to pitch with control and batters who have less fear of getting hit.
Hmmmm…is Michael Pineda an unintentional hero? That’s going to be my story from now on and I’m sticking with it.
I’s always fun to see the Yankees crush the Red Sox, but it’s not fun when it looks like they’re playing a Triple-A team. I know that if I were a Sox fan, out in the frigid cold last night, paying the highest average ticket price in the league, I would be pissed…and concerned.
Oh, and by the way—Jacoby Ellsbury had about 15 hits during the series. Not sure how Jackie Bradley did, other than his error last night….