I think the feeling of this game can be summed up with two statements.
John Farrell was ejected in the eighth inning of a tie-game for arguing an absolutely horrendous blown call which led to Detroit's go-ahead run.
If John Farrell had been ejected earlier, the Red Sox would have been much better off.
Against all the odds, the Red Sox were winning this game. They were winning despite an incredibly shaky first inning from Felix Doubront that saw them fall behind 2-0. They were winning despite facing Justin Verlander. They were winning a game that would have split a series they had no business splitting after Andrew Bailey was allowed to blow the first game.
But John Farrell does not learn from his mistakes. Instead he embraces them and throws himself headfirst into repeating them.
After Junichi Tazawa pitched a soft bottom of the sixth inning--Felix Doubront had managed to squeeze through five innings with just the three runs, one of them unearned on 104 pitches--John Farrell called on Andrew Bailey to pitch the seventh with a 4-3 lead.
Let's just pause for a minute to consider how unbelievably awful this decision was. Andrew Bailey had been pulled from the closer's role for an inability to record outs not 72 hours ago. This means that he could not be trusted with important innings. So John Farrell naturally decides to put him into a one-run game against the top of Detroit's lineup.
Either Farrell still doesn't believe Andrew Bailey can't be trusted with the biggest innings, or he doesn't understand what a big inning is. Does he think Bailey, the "proven closer" is struggling because he can't handle the pressure of the ninth? Whatever the reason, in he went, and the results were predictable. Only a line drive knocked down by Dustin Pedroia resulted in an out, while two batters reached. Andrew Miller allowed one to score with a bases loaded HBP, and there went the lead.
There will be a fair amount of focus put on what happened afterwards, too. The Red Sox coughed up a three-run eighth inning that started with two runners reaching when Daniel Nava dropped a fly ball in the outfield, and Dustin Pedroia was pulled off of first trying to put out Bryan Holliday on a bunt. The second call was close. The first was horrendous, with Nava clearly losing the ball on the transition from glove to hand. A second spent looking at a replay could have changed everything, but MLB's dedication to getting it wrong in favor of the awful "human element" shone through again.
This loss is not tough, it is infuriating. The players who should have been out there more or less did enough to win this game, but they were managed and umped into the ground. If Bailey hadn't been out there, the run doesn't score in the seventh. If the double is ruled an out, chances are the eighth doesn't go the way it did.
Instead, the Red Sox are leaving Detroit with one win when they could have had three because John Farrell can't manage a bullpen and Bud Selig is too stubborn or weak to do something about the pathetic state of officiating.
Read more Red Sox:
- Ryan Dempster: The model of stability
- Solving the Red Sox closer problem
- Can the Red Sox rotation hold up?
- MLB Draft 2013: Red Sox sign first-round pick Trey Ball
- Jonny Gomes hits walk-off homer, punts helmet