Originally Posted by SCCWS
Agree. That was a line shot not a fly ball and it only took a few seconds for it to go out. Great effort by Hunter to even get close to making a play on it.
I agree, but it seemed as the ball went past his glove that he always caught the ball in games against the White Sox during his Twins years. Maybe in the Metrodome, with the nature of the wall there, he would have made the catch.
I was reminded that the Red Sox before the 2011 season signed Carl Crawford to play left, and consensus was that it would help make the Red Sox unbeatable. They missed the 2011 wild card by one game, giving up two in the ninth while protecting a one-run lead on the last day of the season. The run that knocked them out of the postseason came on a line drive that many believed Crawford should have caught. That, though, was a routine play, not what would have been an I-don't-believe-what-I-just-saw play not completed by the free agent the Tigers signed before the season to put them over the top.
Of course, after not making the great play to end the inning and preserve a four-run lead, the Tigers lost the game through incompetent play. An infield single has the effect of a leadoff double because of an ill-advised throw to a first baseman who couldn't keep the ball from skipping past him. Then a wild pitch and the first baseman missing a popup in the stands, a routine popup compared to some of the aggressive in-the-stands catches made in the postseason in recent years, and then a ground ball through the drawn-in infield from the batter with new life.
The Tigers didn't lose many games because of their defense this year (a loss against the White Sox when Jackson had a bad day in center comes to mind), certainly not as many as they did in 2012. And teams that win a lot of games win games that they cold have lost if other teams had made the plays. It isn't so much luck. For one thing, the Red Sox put runs on the board Monday when they stopped striking out. But the Red Sox do seem to have capitalized on Scherzer coming out after seven. In the postseason, pitch counts should be irrelevant. If you are counting pitchers to save pitchers work for when it might matter most, this is what you've been saving them for. Ozzie Guillen didn't taken any chances with what he might have gotten out of the bullpen when his starters were rolling in the 2005 ALCS.
The upshot is, Tigers starters have no-hit their opponents through at least the first five innings of their last three games and it feels like the Red Sox are on a roll after the last two. The Tigers certainly could bounce back. Not that the Ortiz grand slam was as important as the three-run two-out eighth-inning Bernie Carbo home run in 1975, but the Red Sox lost the next night -- in Fenway -- after winning one of all-time great World Series games. Still after those last two innings in Fenway, the Tigers collectively have to feel they don't want this series to return to Boston.