Ortiz part of two base-running mistakes


BOSTON - When David Ortiz looks back on the best base-running days of his career, July 25, 2015 will surely not make the highlight reel.

Ortiz was a part of two base-running blunders on Saturday, one of which was entirely not his fault, and one of which was.

We'll take them in chronological order, which also happens to be order of importance.

It was the second inning and the Sox were already staring at 2-0 deficit.

Ortiz led off the second inning with a stand-up double off the Green Monster. Then came Hanley Ramirez, who topped a ball down the third base line that hit the glove of a leaping Nick Castellanos, and rolled to shallow left field.

With Ortiz rounding third base and Yoenis Cespedes running in on the ball, Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield waved Ortiz home.

Bad idea.

Cespedes came up firing and one-hopped a throw into catcher James McCann that made it in plenty of time to nail the sliding Ortiz at home.

"We're forcing to try and score some runs," Farrell explained of the play. "Recognize with nobody out in that situation, we're forcing Cespy to throw a strike -- he's got to range over to the line to get a ball he's moving side-to-side. I thought David was at third base in ample time to send him. Cespy throws a strike and unfortunately it doesn't work out."

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That's on Butterfield, who should know that in that situation - with zero outs, the team's slowest runner rounding third base, and the Tigers' (and one of MLB's) strongest arm coming up throwing - holding Ortiz would have been the smart thing to do.

The Sox didn't score that inning, but who knows how things would have gone if Ortiz had stayed at third.

The next base-running mistake came in the sixth inning, and this was on Ortiz.

With one out, Ortiz grounded to the pitcher Alfredo Simon and began his slow jog out of the box. But Simon didn't field it cleanly and the ball bounced around on the field just long enough that had Ortiz been hustling the whole way, he may have been safe at first. Instead, Ortiz picked up his pace once he noticed the fielding blunder, but it was too late. Simon gathered himself and threw out Ortiz at first base to the sound of boos from the crowd.

"When [Simon] drops the ball all of a sudden [Ortiz] shifts gears and takes off again," Farrell said. "You're obviously looking for consistent effort all the way down the line. That wasn't the case in that situation."

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