Base-running gaffes hurt Sox

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Base-running gaffes hurt Sox

CLEVELAND On a night when it appeared offense was going to be scarce for the Red Sox, a little aggressiveness got the better of them on the base paths.

Dustin Pedroia was cut down at home plate in the fourth inning trying to make it a bases-clearing double for Adrian Gonzalez, but the throw from Shelley Duncan was perfectly placed between Carl Crawford scoring and Pedroia getting tagged out. That actually turned out to be the closest the Sox would come to scoring over the rest of the game in a 5-2 loss to the Tribe.

The Pedroia miscue was perhaps understandable given he was only a couple of strides behind Crawford on a Gonzalez double that kicked around by the left field wall, and thats a tough call for everybody involved including third base coach Jerry Royster.

Aggressive base-running cost us a little bit, yeah. Pedroia had to slow up a little bit around second or he might have passed Carl, said Valentine. If Ellsbury had to do it over again he wouldnt have done it with no outs.

But the Ellsbury base-running gaffe was a little more glaring in the sixth. Its tough to fault a guy that had two of Bostons three hits on a slow evening, but making the first or third out of an inning on the bases especially at third base is a cardinal baseball sin. Ellsbury did just that when he attempted to stretch a double into a triple and was caught by a perfect barehanded play from Cleveland centerfielder Michael Brantley.

It then took another perfect tag by Brent Lillibridge at third base to catch Ellsbury as he was trying to hook slide around the tag, and the speedy centerfielder was out. He slammed his helmet off the ground in incredulity, but that turned out to be Bostons last, best chance to score in a tight game.

I wouldnt call it a mistake. It was more being aggressive trying to make something happen, said Ellsbury. Thats what youve got to do when youre not scoring runs. It was barehanded off the wall with a perfect tag, so Id do it all over again.

So the manager says Ellsbury wouldnt have done it if he had the play over, and the player said hes do it all over again. Such is life with the 2012 Boston Red Sox.

Its tough to argue with Ellsburys assessment of a very impatient offense right now, but if Ellsbury did it again the Red Sox would most likely lose all over again as theyve done many, many times this season.

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

One White House tradition will have to wait, if it’s in fact maintained.

President Donald Trump is not going to throw out a ceremonial first pitch for the Washington Nationals this season, according to the Washington Post.

Post reporter Barry Svrugula wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that the White House declined an invitation from the Nats.

POLITICO reported early Tuesday morning that Trump was in talks to throw out the first pitch and that it was also possible he could spend an inning in the MASN booth.

President William Howard Taft began the custom of U.S. presidents throwing out a first pitch on April 14, 1910, at National Stadium in D.C.

According to The Week:

“Since Taft, every president not named Jimmy Carter has thrown out at least one Opening Day first pitch. The executive guests of honor followed in Taft's hefty footsteps, throwing the first ball from the stands, until the late 1980s when Ronald Reagan sauntered onto the mound and improved upon the tradition."

The most famous presidential pitch in recent memory is George W. Bush’s toss during the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium.

The Nats open their season on Monday at home in Washington D.C., in a 1:05 p.m. game against the Miami Marlins. A Nationals Magic 8 Ball is to be given away to the first 20,000 fans.

The Red Sox happen to play the Nats in a pair of exhibitions right before the season, on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game is at the Nats’ home park in D.C. Saturday’s game is to be played in Annapolis, Md., at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon...who's the starting catcher?

Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon...who's the starting catcher?

Evan Drellich talks with Toucher and Rich about who the starting catcher will be and should be for the Red Sox. Christian Vazquez appears to be all the way back from Tommy John surgery. Can he hit?