Throwing to a catcher isn’t the only job a pitcher has. Heath Hembree forgot that Sunday afternoon, and it ended up costing the Boston Red Sox.
After entering in the seventh inning of a matchup with the New York Mets, Hembree forgot to keep tabs on baserunner David Murphy. Noticing this, Murphy took advantage, sprinting to second without a throw on Hembree’s first pitch.
Michael Cuddyer proceeded to smack a single into left field two pitches later, scoring Murphy with what proved to be the final run of the game. The Mets held on the rest of the way to win 5-4 and salvage the finale of the three-game series at Citi Field.
“I think that was probably one of the key plays of the game — it ended up being the go-ahead run,” acting Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo told reporters after the game, as aired on “Red Sox Extra Innings LIVE.” “We just didn’t control the running game there. We work very hard at it. It’s a part of our game that we take pride in, and unfortunately we didn’t do it at that time. And that’s an easy fix for us. We’re going to talk about it, and it’ll be done. And we’ve done it real well all year long. Unfortunately, they just jumped on it. They did their homework, and you’ve got to give them a little bit of credit.”
Some additional notes from Sunday:
— Although the Red Sox were unable to close out their first three-game sweep since June 7, their road trip nonetheless was a successful one. Boston went 4-2 against the Mets and Chicago White Sox and won games started by stud pitchers Chris Sale, Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom.
“I thought overall, these guys played really good baseball for three days,” Lovullo told reporters. “Unfortunately, we didn’t win (Sunday), but the way we came back, the resiliency that we showed, our ability to execute when we needed to, grind down some really good starting pitching — I was really pleased with what I saw from these three days. And this entire road trip, actually.”
The Red Sox now return home for nine in a row at Fenway Park, beginning Monday night against the New York Yankess.
— Hanley Ramirez sat out his third consecutive game as he continues to nurse a sore shoulder.
“Hanley is doing OK,” Lovullo told reporters before the game. “(He’s been) conditioning and just keeping his body in as good a shape as he possibly can, and also doing some right shoulder exercises to strengthen it. Obviously, he’s out of the lineup (Sunday), and he’s just day to day depending on how his workday goes. We want to get him in there as soon as we possibly can, but we don’t want to put him in harm’s way.”
— Junichi Tazawa officially is out as the Red Sox’s closer. Lovullo said before the game Tazawa will return to his usual setup role, with Jean Machi getting an opportunity to close games for Boston.
Machi picked up the save Saturday with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Thumbnail photo via Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports Images