BOSTON (CBS) — Heading in to Monday night, the Boston Red Sox had just completed a 9-1 stretch which essentially sewed up a division win. Their magic number to win the AL East was just three with a week to play.
Yet when they took the field at Fenway Park on Monday, manager John Farrell seemed to be treating it like Game 7 of the World Series.
Fred Toucher and Jon Wallach took a look at two of Farrell’s curious decisions on Tuesday’s Toucher & Rich.
Eduardo Nunez Allowed To Finish At-Bat After Re-Injuring Knee
Eduardo Nunez played for the first time in more than two weeks, hitting a double in his first at-bat and scoring a run in the first inning. But in his second at-bat, he re-aggravated that knee injury while fouling off a ball.
Nunez was inexplicably allowed to finish his at-bat.
“He could literally not put weigh on his back foot. It’s a literal interpretation of what was going on,” Toucher said.
“Farrell runs out there, sees that his DH is in obvious pain, and then leaves him out there to swing again,” Wallach said. “And Nunez lines out to third base, and it’s a good thing he did. Because if he didn’t, him running to first, he would have collapsed before getting 10 feet out of the box.”
Farrell said after the game that there was no “added damage” to Nunez.
“How is he saying that there can be no added damage?” Toucher asked. “How the hell does he know that?”
Mookie Betts Allowed To Stay In Game With Wrist Injury
Mookie Betts is the Red Sox’ best hitter, yet the manager kept him in the game for multiple innings to play the field after he was in clear pain with his left wrist in the fifth inning. The pain was so bad that Betts said he lost feeling in his hand for multiple seconds.
“John Farrell talks to Mookie Betts, they have this discussion,” Wallach said, “and Farrell says, ‘I’m hot, baby! It worked so well the last time, I’m going to leave Betts in there — not to hit, mind you. But to field. We need Mookie Betts in right field … because of course we have no other outfielders on this team.’ Andrew Benintendi, by the way, is sitting on the bench not playing. ‘What I want to do is send probably my most valuable hitter at this point back out to field in right.’ And of course, what happens when you field? You never dive for a ball and roll [your wrist]. That never happens. … There are at least five or six different ways you can hurt your left hand if you’re fielding with the glove on your left hand.”
Wallach added: “It’s mystifiying that he let Nunez talk him into another swing. It’s even more mystifying that he put Betts [in the field]. You have so much in front of you. You sent your best player out there to field with a bad wrist, when you have other things to focus on. … The Betts thing is mystifying, leaving him out there for two more innings after it was obvious he was having problems with this left wrist, and then pinch-hitting for him when his time came around in the order again. What are you doing? What are you doing? Are you trying to get fired? Are you trying to leave after the season is over?”
Toucher added one more question: “What do they need Betts and Nunez for in the playoffs? It’s going to be a cakewalk. With that starting pitching? It’s going to be a cakewalk, baby.”
Listen to the full discussion above, which includes some questions about starting Drew Pomeranz in the first place on Monday.