The Little League World Series is set to begin on Thursday afternoon, but with 16 of the best teams from around the world converging on Williamsport, PA, the odds we'll see a play like the one the Boston Red Sox completely botched on Wednesday night are probably pretty low.
Here's what happened: With two outs and nobody on base in the bottom of the third, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Rajai Davis hit a sharp one hopper back through the middle that was ticketed for center field had pitcher Jon Lester not knocked it down with his left shin. That one probably left a bruise, but for a moment it seemed like Lester would recover fine and be able to toss Davis out at first base for the third out.
Unfortunately for Boston, nothing remotely close to that actually happened on the play.
Instead, as Lester shoveled the to ball to first baseman Mike Napoli, it skipped right on by him and halfway down the right field line. The toss was definitely offline, so the error was charged to Lester, but it honestly looked like a ball that Lester's three-year-old son could have handled between games of Temple Run. In other words, Napoli should have at least knocked it down.
With the ball now rolling freely up the line, the speedster Davis turned on the jets and made the turn towards third base. At the same time, right fielder Shane Victorino was picking up the ball and making an aggressive throw across the diamond in an attempt to cut him down. The throw is actually on line but hits Davis and caroms in the direction of the third base dugout. This allowed Davis to sprint the final 90 feet home for what amounts to a home run in Little League, but in the world of MLB is simply a ground ball single to the pitcher with two errors attached.
However you look at it, it was a gift for Toronto. Napoli did his best to make up for the play with a game-tying home off Brett Cecil in the ninth inning, but it still ended up being the difference as Brett Lawrie singled home Davis (again) in the tenth inning. Toronto wins it 4-3.