Red Sox swept on base-running mishap in ninth – Boston Globe
PITTSBURGH — The Red Sox will quickly try to forget this season once it comes to an end. But the ninth inning at PNC Park on Thursday night will be impossible to erase.
Down by a run, the Red Sox put runners on first and third base with no outs against the Pittsburgh Pirates and closer Mark Melancon. Will Middlebrooks chopped a ball down the third base line that struck Jemile Weeks in the back of the leg as he retreated to the bag.
Weeks was called out and Melancon finished off the Sox from there for a 3-2 victory and three-game sweep.
“I’ve never seen it in my life. Never seen that play,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Fitting.”
Plate umpire Mike Muchlinski made the call and was backed up by his colleagues. It was not a play Farrell could challenge.
“I asked both to either review it or confer with one another and they refused,” Farrell said.
Crew chief Mike Winters told a pool reporter that the play was not eligible for review and that Weeks was in fair territory when hit. By rule, he was out.
“Got back, had to avoid getting tagged or creating a double-play situation. That’s what I did,” Weeks said. “The ball hit me on the way back.”
Runners at third base usually take their lead in foul territory to avoid contact with batted balls. But Weeks was in the baseline.
“My natural instinct was to do what I was told and get back on a slow chopper,” he said. “I tried to get back as fast as I could. I didn’t think it was going to come right on top of me like that. That’s a first time. Just …read more