The Red Sox on Thursday fell behind early the Astros in Game 1 of the ALDS in Houston (HOU 8, BOS 2 F). Sox ace Chris Sale , but in the second frame Boston cobbled together a threat against Justin Verlander.
Mitch Moreland and Dustin Pedroia drew back-to-back one-out walks, and then Rafael Devers struck out. Then Sandy Leon grounded a single into right field. Moreland scooted around in an attempt to score, and Pedroia tried to take third base. Meantime, Houston right-fielder Josh Reddick made a peg to Alex Bregman at third. Here's a snapshot:
Since there was no force play at third, Moreland's run would count provided he touched home before Pedroia was tagged out. Pedroia was indeed tagged out, and after some initial confusion it was ruled that Moreland's run did not count. Upon review, however, the call was reversed and the Sox had cut the lead to 2-1.
That's fortunate for Pedroia because his decision to go for third and thus risk erasing Moreland's run was questionable for a few reasons:
- There were already two outs, and the upside is Pedroia at third with the ninth-place hitter up.
- Moreland is not a fast runner.
- Pedroia is running on a bad left knee.
- Reddick in right field has a powerful arm, as he acutely reminded Pedroia.
The Red Sox this season led the AL by a significant margin with 81 outs on the bases. There's a lot to be said for the aggressive approach, but it needs to be targeted aggression. Pedroia took a low-upside, high-downside chance in the second inning on Thursday, and it very nearly cost his team dearly.