A bizarre misplayed fly ball at Fenway Park kicked off a disastrous inning for the Tampa Bay Rays in their ALDS series opener against the Boston Red Sox. Leading 2-0 going into the bottom of the fourth, Dustin Pedroia led off with a single. Then, Red Sox DH David Ortiz got a hold of a fly ball to centerfield that looked like it would be the first out of the inning. But watch, as Tampa Bay Rays rookie Wil Myers appears to have been distracted (by something visual, or some sort of verbal call from the Red Sox bullpen) and pulls off the ball, allowing the double (courtesy of MLB.com and TBS):
The inning just got worse, with another out missed by a passed ball on a strikeout. Five runs later, the Rays were done and licking their wounds preparing for Game 2. According to Myers, he thought Desmond Jennings was behind him, but that doesn’t add up to me, with the wall being so close (game summary via ESPN.com):
“I was under the ball and I saw Des out of the corner of my eye and backed off,” Myers said. “I messed it up, and it won’t happen again. … That play kind of gave them a spark, and a good team takes advantage of it.”
Rookies in the postseason. It happens.
– David Whitlock