Blake Swihart helped propel the Boston Red Sox past the New York Mets in thrilling fashion Friday when he raced around the bases in the 10th inning for an inside-the-park home run.
But the rookie’s mad dash — a highly impressive feat for a catcher — should never have been necessary.
“I was just looking for a good pitch to hit, and I got it with the first pitch,” Swihart told NESN sideline reporter Guerin Austin after the Red Sox’s 6-4 win at Citi Field. “I probably realized I had a chance to score rounding second. At first, I thought it went over and hit the black part behind the fence and bounced off — I didn’t think it would have bounced that far it if it hit that front wall.”
He was right. Replays later showed that Swihart’s drive to deep center field — which came on the first pitch of the 10th — actually cleared the top of the wall and should have been ruled a run-of-the-mill home run.
Looks like Swihart's homer shouldn't have been an inside-the-parker after all. http://t.co/vAcHSefWTw—
Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) August 29, 2015
Acting Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo told reporters he would have challenged the call, but all’s well that ends well.
“The ball had left the bat, I looked at him at first base, and he knew what he was trying to do,” Lovullo said, as aired on “Red Sox Extra Innings LIVE.” “I don’t he was planning on an inside-the-park home run, but we run hard until our base coaches stop our guys, and he did exactly what he was supposed to do. I think bottom line, though, also is that I think it was a home run. I’m not exactly sure. We were going to review it, but it worked out well for us.”
Swihart was left with some tired legs but also a place in the Red Sox record books. His inside-the-park job was the first by a Boston hitter since 2011, the first by a Red Sox catcher since 1971 and the first by a Sox batter extra innings since 1966.
It also was Swihart’s first-ever inside-the-parker, but not according to him:
Great answer from @BLAKESWIHART_1 when asked if he had ever hit an inside-the-park HR before. “Nope, still haven’t."—
Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) August 29, 2015
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