After a two run righty on righty blast that put his team up 2-0 in the third inning, Shane Victorino probably thought he had done his part in securing a win. Considering those were the only scores the Boston Red Sox were able to muster out in a 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants last night, he should have been right. But late in the eighth inning, with a 2-1 lead, runners on first and third, and the incumbent National League MVP batting at the plate, Victorino would make a play that would leave fans, media and even himself admitting that the catch required at least a little more thought than usual.
Though it crossed Shane’s mind as to whether or not to make the play, when Buster Posey sent a foul ball deep to right, the decision was made and so was the catch. Though he did try to make the play at the plate, it wasn’t in time and the tying run crossed. The Sox ended the inning shortly there after and weren’t able to score in the top of the ninth. In the Red Sox defensive half of the inning, Lefty Franklin Morales proceeded to load the bases leaving right hander Brayan Villareal, who was just called up from the triple-A ranks, with the undesirable task of getting out of a bases loaded jam. He responded by throwing four balls and walking the winning run home.
So why so much question about Shane Victorino’s role in all of this? The consensus is because perhaps he should’ve let the ball fall foul and they could’ve possibly tried again on another hit. Victorino’s point of view: the possibility of having the reigning NL MVP at the plate taking hacks when it counts could possibly turn out worst. “What if I let that fall foul and now he (Posey) goes up there and hits a ball in the gap?” in the exact words of Victorino. Red Sox manager John Farrell shared the sentiment of indecision on that play adding “It’s such a close play. If it lands on the chalk line, we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.”
Either way, the Cards ended up losing that game and have moved on. Speculation of the correct play though, has only continued to build. And though the Flyin’ Hawaiian has had lots of time to run the play over in his mind we may never know what the correct answer would be given the situation again. I guess we’ll all just have to keep watching.