With their season — and perhaps his job — on the line, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell did what he had to do Monday in Game 4 of the American League Division Series. He got ejected.
That’s not what you want from your manager, particularly in the second inning of an elimination game, but it sure beat the alternative: star second baseman Dustin Pedroia getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire Mark Wegner. Once he got the boot, Farrell went off on Wegner. We sure saw a few swear words in there.
It was the second inning, but with the tense nature of this game, it felt like it was the seventh. The Red Sox were already angry about a called third strike to Jackie Bradley Jr., who K’d right before Pedroia came to bat. The bases were loaded, there were two outs and the Astros were up 2-1. A hit from Pedroia would have been huge, perhaps season-saving, as the Astros would eventually win 5-4 to knock the Red Sox out of the postseason.
Instead, Pedroia struck out looking on a front-door curveball that looked close but not close enough to take in that situation. Pedroia was immediately livid, yelling at Wegner. Wegner, to his credit, tried to walk away. Even he didn’t want to see Pedroia get ejected in an elimination game. But Pedroia followed him and Farrell ultimately had to intervene. Once Farrell got tossed, he unloaded on Wegner — perhaps as a last-gasp bit of inspiration for his troops.
Here are the pitches in question. First Pedroia and then Bradley:
FWIW, Pitch #6 was strike three to Pedroia. pic.twitter.com/qWQhucfhwf
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) October 9, 2017
— Red Sox Unfiltered (@redsoxunfltrd) October 9, 2017
As many Red Sox fans were quick to point out, the ejection could be Farrell’s last act as skipper. He’s lost favor with many in Boston despite winning consecutive AL East championships. Fan favor isn’t what determines a manager keeping his job, of course.
But another early playoff exit might mean Farrell’s ejected permanently.
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