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October 27, 2013

This loss is on Farrell

(Continued)

Farrell probably didn’t sleep last night. His decision to pinch hit for Stephen Drew in the top of the seventh backfired on him, too.

But his hands were tied there. You can’t fault him for that.

After all, Drew already was 0 for 2 with two strikeouts, including one with no outs and runners at first and third in the fifth inning. With those two punch outs, Drew’s average dropped .091 (4 for 44) this postseason to go along with 17 strikeouts and just one walk.

That said, Drew, a slick defender, would have made that play on the semi-slow roller to shortstop to start the bottom of the seventh because he would have charged it. Instead, the rookie Xander Bogaerts waited back on it a bit and didn’t make a good throw to first base.

That weak infield single was the beginning of a two-run bottom of the seventh inning that put the Cardinals ahead 4-2.

Again, Drew had tied Farrell’s hands. It was a no-win situation.

Drew basically is an automatic out, something that is difficult for Boston to have in its lineup right now in a National League park with the pitcher batting. The Red Sox can’t have two automatic outs, right?

But then Farrell has to factor in how important defense is during the postseason. Drew not being at shortstop in the bottom of the seventh inning cost the Red Sox big time. So what do you do if you’re Farrell? Does he keep Drew in the lineup today (for run prevention) and downgrade the offense or does he sit Drew and downgrade the defense? One thing is for sure: After Saltalamacchia’s ill-advised throw last night in the ninth inning, which was wide of third baseman Will Middlebrooks, Farrell has to start the better defensive catcher, Ross, today.

Ross should have been in that game late last night.

Follow Christopher Smith on Twitter @SmittyOnMLB

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