The Boston Red Sox outfield flashed some serious leather on Wednesday night with center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and left fielder Jonny Gomes each laying out to make sensational diving catches. Bradley's catch, especially, was a gem as it wowed the crowd and took away sure extra bases from Chicago White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers.
Unfortunately, the outfield had a couple hiccups as well. Well, to be more specific, Gomes had a couple hiccups, which is more along the lines of what you'd expect from the below average defender.
His first miscue happened in the fourth inning when he lost Alejandro De Aza's fly ball in the sun, allowing him to reach with a triple. Fortunately, that didn't lead to any damage physically or on the scoreboard. In the seventh inning, Gomes had trouble again, misjudging Flowers' towering fly ball against the Green Monster, and this time the result was much worse for him personally as the ball appeared to glance off the wall and then smack him right in the face.
We can't call it a direct shot, but based on Gomes' reaction and the distance it rolled, it had to be a pretty square shot. If not to his face and head, then at least to his pride.
All was not lost on the play for Boston though. After Gomes shook off the shock and sting, he quickly ran the ball down in foul territory. He followed with a strong, accurate good throw into Xander Bogaerts, who in turn fired home to cut down De Aza for what ended up being a huge out in the game.
The play itself was pretty awkward all the way around. De Aza, who was on first base to start the play, really coasted into third only to get a late wave in from third base coach Joe McEwing. De Aza's turn ended up a bit wide as a result and nearly ran him right into McEwing, which bought Boston enough time to execute the relay.
It was actually a play befitting of fourth and fifth place squads, and then we take a moment to recall the fifth place team won the World Series last season. Baseball is a weird game that way, It's also difficult to explain how Boston came in losing six of the first seven games on their homestand to the Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles and White Sox, and then trailed again by four runs in the eighth inning on Wednesday, only to rally and win 5-4 on Brock Holt's walkoiff single in the ninth.
Hmm. Maybe all they ever needed to turn it around was a fly ball to the noggin.
BLS H/N: Deadspin
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