Hanley Ramirez has exceeded all expectations in his first season as a major league first baseman, but a play he failed to make Saturday helped cost the Boston Red Sox a win in Toronto.
Ramirez was unable to handle a throw from third baseman Travis Shaw with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, allowing the winning run to score in a 10-9 Blue Jays victory.
The first baseman was not charged with an error — it went down as a run-scoring infield single for Jays second baseman Devon Travis — but it was a play Ramirez should have been able to make.
“As soon as I let go, I thought he was out,” Shaw told reporters after the game, as aired on “Red Sox Extra Innings.” “And it just kind of skipped away.”
Ramirez, who went 2-for-4 with three RBIs in the game, accepted responsibility for the costly miscue.
“Tremendous play by Shaw,” he said, per Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. “I just wasn’t able to finish it.”
Ramirez deserves only a sliver of the blame for Saturday’s loss, though. The Red Sox appeared to have the game sewn up before blowing a four-run lead in the eighth inning and, after David Ortiz put them back ahead with a solo home run in the following half-inning, surrendering two more runs in the bottom of the ninth.
It was a rough afternoon for Boston’s bullpen, as Tommy Layne, Junichi Tazawa and closer Craig Kimbrel each were charged with two earned runs.
But still, Ramirez catching Shaw’s toss cleanly would have given Boston another shot at victory, and with how unpredictable this particular game was, who knows what could have transpired in extra innings.
“A ball down the line, Travis gives him a throw that — we’ve seen Hanley catch that ball a number of times,” Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters. “I think if we have a chance to replay that, he probably makes that play routinely. It went off the glove. From my vantage point, I don’t know that it short-hopped it. So, an unfortunate situation in a key moment.”
Ramirez has yet to be charged with an error this season in 41 games at first base.
Some additional notes from a wild one at Rogers Centre:
— Saturday was a very bad day for the Red Sox’s ‘pen as a whole, but not for right-handed reliever Matt Barnes.
Barnes, a 2011 first-round draft pick who failed to live up to that billing during his first two major league seasons, turned in another strong performance in a high-leverage situation, stranding an inherited runner at third base after taking over for Porcello with two outs in the seventh inning.
The UConn product walked Josh Donaldson — not the worst outcome after the stat line Donaldson posted Friday night — but got the better of Edwin Encarnacion in an eight-pitch at-bat, getting the designated hitter to ground out to end the inning.
Since allowing two runs on three hits over 1 1/3 innings in a loss to the Houston Astros on May 13, Barnes has given up just one hit and zero runs in 5 2/3 innings over his last six outings.
— The game was halted with two outs in the bottom of the second inning after Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis fouled a pitch off the mask of home plate umpire Mike DiMuro.
DiMuro was removed from the game after being examined by Toronto’s team trainer, and a lengthy delay ensued as third base umpire Brian Gorman donned the gear necessary to take over for DiMuro behind the plate.
— P.K. Subban was in the house Saturday. The Montreal Canadiens defenseman took batting practice with the Blue Jays while wearing a customized “Subbanator” jersey.
Thumbnail photo via Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images
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