Red Sox play game under protest after Rays’ unusual pitching moves
Things got very confusing during the Tampa Bay Rays’ 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday.
During the top of the 8th inning, the Rays put pitcher Adam Kolarek at first base to bring in right-hander Chaz Roe to record an out. After that, the left-handed Kolarek was moved back to the mound, with Nate Lowe coming off the bench to play first base, replacing Roe.
What followed was chaos. The umpires seemingly weren’t sure how to handle the substitutions with regard to both the designated hitter and the batting order. The game came to a halt during a lengthy meeting that only served to confuse everyone watching and led to a barrage of criticism.
What are the fans at home & in the stands thinking right now? Fairly crucial spot in the game & an extensive delay for EVERYONE with ZERO explanation for ANYONE. For the CONSUMERS, the FANS who drive the product. WHY IS THIS SO HARD TO GRASP?! Clean it up Uncle Manfred! pic.twitter.com/ajvQDaos9J
— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) July 24, 2019
This is being really poorly handled. Umpires again meeting after Cora goes back to the dugout.
One pitch in the last 21 minutes
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) July 24, 2019
The Rays did lose the DH, which is what happens when a pitcher moves to a defensive position. Kolarek took the third spot in the lineup (which was the previous DH spot), ultimately being pinch-hit for by Willy Adames, while Lowe ultimately occupied the ninth spot, which was the spot Ji-Man Choi had before he exited the game. Red Sox manager Alex Cora was dissatisfied with this, and protested the game as a result.
Announcement: Protest is due to the placement of the substitutes in the lineup following the removal of the DH. (Hope that clears it up)
— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) July 24, 2019
Just a guess: When Roe was called on to relieve, Kolarek moved to first base and Choi went out–and Kolarek should be in 9 spot, BOS could be arguing. Rays counter that Kolarek had moved into 3 spot, for DH Meadows, and Roe was in the 9 spot. When Roe went out, Lowe moved to 1B.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 24, 2019
In other words, a lot of confusing administrative things went down that held up the game by a good half hour. The entire affair was not handled well by the umpires, who were hindered by their lack of ability to communicate what was going on and seemed lost as to what the right course of action was.
The Rays have never been afraid to exploit baseball mechanics to get pitching matchups they want. This one just seemed to confuse everyone in the building.