Rafael Devers has been off to a slow start defensively this season, but he made a key defensive play when Boston really needed it Wednesday night.
And in making the play, he didn’t record a single out.
Things got chaotic in the bottom of the ninth inning in the Red Sox’s eventual 6-5 win over the New York Mets at Citi Field. Sox closer Brandon Workman was tasked with protecting a 6-4 lead, and he immediately loaded the bases with no outs on two walks and a single.
After Workman got Brandon Nimmo to strike out, J.D. Davis hit a hard grounder to the hole between third base and short. Devers managed to get to the ball, diving and going full extension to corral it. Devers, from his knees, made a controlled throw to first base that was not in time, keeping the bases loaded while allowing New York to score its fifth run with ease.
At first blush, it might not have seemed like a big play considering a run scored and it left Workman with two outs to get and the bases still juiced. But when you consider Andrew Benintendi doesn’t have the best arm in left field, had Devers not knocked that ball down the Mets undoubtedly would have scored two runs on the play, tying the game.
Instead, Workman got Yoenis Cespedes to strike out and Robinson Cano to line out to end the game.
You can watch the full highlight here.
In 2019, Devers showed major signs of growth defensively, and it’s that upside that can make the missteps all the more frustrating. Certainly, though, Sox manager Ron Roenicke and Co. must be hoping the play only boosts Devers’ confidence in the field.