Last Night's Game
St. Louis 5, Red Sox 4 - STL leads series 2-1
It was a crackling game (and a crackling set of comments by YDW) that ended on about as strange a circumstance as you can have. The lead changed hands several times before the Red Sox tied the game off closer Trevor Rosenthal in the eighth (yes, the eighth) thanks to a fielder's choice and a chopper up the middle that Pete Kozma may have corralled.
But then in the ninth inning Yadier Molina singled and Allen Craig doubled with one out. The Red Sox brought the infield in, and Dustin Pedroia made a tremendous play on a ball to the right of him, nabbing Molina at the plate. Craig went to third, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia threw there to attempt to end the inning, but the ball got by Will Middlebrooks (who in my opinion should have caught it). Because the ball was tailing into the runner, Middlebrooks ended up on his stomach in front of Craig, so that when Craig attempted to get up to start for home, he tripped over the Boston third baseman. Obstruction was immediately called, though it took a several seconds for everyone to realize what happened. The ball was retrieved and thrown home, and if obstruction had not been called, Craig would have been out at home. But the call was correct, and the Cardinals take a 2-1 lead.
At this time next week the offseason will begin in earnest. The big decisions the club will make this winter will have a lot to do with rotation, and more specifically Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir. It's extremely doubtful that the Indians can keep both, especially not after what Tim Lincecum got from the Giants. Plus there's Justin Masterson to think about, who will be a free agent after the 2014 season.
Al at the DiaTribe reviews a new book by Indians minor-leaguer Justin Toole. The book is titled 9 in 9, which refers to him playing all nine positions in a game in 2012. Each chapter details one of the innings, as well as a life lesson learned from the great game of baseball.
AL Central News
If the name sounds familiar, it's because Lovullo spent many years in the Indians organization as a coach and manager, and was the manager for the Columbus Clippers in their first year as an affiliate of the Indians. He left for the Boston organization in 2010, then was hired by John Farrell (who knew him from when he was with the Indians) as part of Blue Jays' coaching staff. He followed Farrell to Boston, and now he serves as bench coach for the Red Sox.
A look at the rule that cost the Red Sox last night's game. It is irrelevant about the intent to obstruct, so if a fielder does not have the ball or is in the act of fielding the ball, he cannot impede the base runner. In fact, the example in the rule itself exactly matches what happened last night.
In other coaching news, Paul Molitor returns to the Twins.