Sloppy defensive play has been a big part of the reason the Boston Red Sox have fallen into last place in the American League East. Manager Alex Cora has been a witness to the team's error-prone ways, and while he has pointed out these issues throughout the season, it seems to be getting worse.
Uh…….WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?!
The Red Sox are making a case for worst defensive play of the year here as Yandy gets a little league homer on this play! pic.twitter.com/sqYhdzDeMO
— Just Baseball (@JustBB_Media) June 4, 2023
The Red Sox gave up a “Little League Home Run” in their 6-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday at Fenway Park. With 2 outs in the sixth inning, Manuel Margot took off from first on a hit-and-run play. Yandy Diaz executed perfectly by hitting a slow ground ball through the vacated second-base hole.
Margot sprinted around the bases while rightfielder Jason Verdugo slowly retrieved the ball and threw it to 2nd baseman Enmanuel Valdez. Margot kept running and scored easily as Valdez's throw to catcher Connor Wong was late.
Wong threw the ball into center field in an attempt to stop Diaz from advancing, but Jarren Duran was nowhere near his position and Diaz circled the bases.
“In the end it’s on me. I’m the manager of this club and we’ve been sloppy,” Alex Cora said. “It’s not about pointing fingers, right? The roster is the roster and we have to play better baseball. But I’m the manager of this team and defensively we’re not good. We’re not.”
Red Sox players did not hide from their mistakes and both Verdugo and Wong admitted they were at fault. But these problems have occurred all too frequently for a team that doesn't have the talent to compete with the Rays, New York Yankees and the other top teams in the American League.