ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Boston Red Sox keep stumbling. Forget about getting in the path of opponents, they can’t even stay out of their own way.
Another bad throw to third.
Another painful loss.
And now, for the first time in 27 years, the Red Sox find themselves in a World Series deficit.
Usually you see tripping penalties on hockey ice, not baseball infields.
The crazy 5-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night, which ended with third baseman Will Middlebrooks, flat on his stomach, raising both legs and obstructing Allen Craig, joins the bizarre Boston lore that include Johnny Pesky holding the ball on Harry Walker’s hit in 1946 and Bill Buckner allowing Mookie Wilson’s grounder to through his legs in 1986.
“It’s a crying shame to lose a game like this. I’m absolutely shocked a game of his magnitude ends on a play like that. It just doesn’t seem right,” said Jake Peavy, whose four gritty innings were pretty much forgotten. “We’ve been able to come back all year. I don’t think this is something we can’t come back from. You just don’t expect to lose a game that way. It’s shocking.”
Thirty-eight years after an interference non-call did in the Red Sox in World Series Game 3, an obstruction ruling finished them off.
And now, things get really dicey.
With Boston trailing 2-1 in the Series, the Red Sox start Craig Buchholz in Game 4, a pitcher unsure how far he can go with a barking shoulder.
Felix Doubront, the most likely emergency starter, threw two innings and 25 pitches on Saturday night after Jake Peavy lasted just four innings.
“This game is not going to define our team,” Dustin Pedroia said. “We lost tough game. We’ll come out and play tomorrow. This won’t stop us.”
Hope for a third Series sweep in a decade disappeared when Craig Breslow threw wildly over third base in Game 2 and into the Fenway Park stands, turning Matt Carpenter’s tying sacrifice fly into two runs.
When this one ended, Middlebrooks approached the umpires and raising his arms wide, as if to say “What could I do?”
“He was on top of me. There was nowhere for me to go there,” Middlebrooks said. “If I dive and then Army-crawl to second as soon as I hit the ground, that’s the only way I get out of the way there.”