By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — In a vacuum, it wasn’t the worst decision in the world. In retrospect, it was a costly mistake — one that Xander Bogaerts vows to never make again.
The decision in question came in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday night in Oakland. Just one night after getting gunned down at the plate (and technically being safe) by A’s center fielder Ramon Laureano, the Red Sox shortstop decided to test that arm once again. In this instance, as previously mentioned, it wasn’t the worst decision in the world. Bogaerts’ line drive to deep right-center field hit high off the wall, and with Laureano making a play to rob a potential home run, the center fielder had a long way to go to chase down the ball.
Bogaerts didn’t bust down the first-base line out of the box, waiting to see if his shot would clear the wall. It did not. Making calculations on the fly, Bogaerts hesitated for a half-step as he rounded second base. Getting thrown out at the plate by Laureano’s cannon a night earlier will have that effect. But with his team trailing 1-0 and staring yet another loss right in the face, Bogaerts decided to push the envelope.
Spoiler alert: It didn’t work out for him.
With an assist to third baseman Matt Chapman’s left leg blocking the base, Bogaerts didn’t stand a chance.
After that play, Mitch Moreland walked with two outs in the inning, but Brock Holt struck out swinging against Blake Treinen to end the game.
After the loss — Boston’s fourth straight to drop to 1-5 on the season — Bogaerts explained his thought process.
“Again, man,” he said. “I’m like, there’s no way he’ll do that again. The night before, he was coming in, he had a lot of momentum. But that ball hit … I didn’t even see the replay. But I knew right away that once I dove into third, I felt Chapman hit me before I hit the bag. So I already knew I was out. So I mean, how can he do that twice in a row?”
The previous night, Bogaerts was hosed at the plate by Laureano, when trying to score from second base on a single to center field. But on that play, Bogaerts appeared to have also been hosed by home plate umpire Kerwin Danley and MLB’s replay review process, as one angle appeared to have shown Bogaerts’ leg crossing the plate before the tag was applied at home. Yet with no angle definitively showing that Bogaerts’ foot was making contact with the plate, the call on the field stood as called.
On Tuesday night, though, there was just no doubt about it. And as a result of being the victim in Laureano’s 10th and 11th career outfield assists (in just 55 games), Bogaerts has officially learned his lesson.
“The next time,” Bogaerts said, “I won’t run.”