Eighth inning, 8-8 ball game, fresh off of a 3-run comeback. Koji-time right? Cue Darude's "Sandstorm"?
For John Farrell it was William Cuevas-time: a triple-A call-up in his Major League debut. Cuevas pitched well in the seventh which was much-needed. He got the hold. Great job. High fives all around.
But then in the eighth, Cuevas trotted right back out to the mound. This is where Farrell's in-game managing skills make zero sense. Even though the Sox didn't have the lead, Farrell still should've sent in Koji Uehara. He's your setup guy.
Yes, in his last outing he did implode. But he's also been resting since then. He hasn't pitched since Monday.
And of course, Farrell's managerial skills again cost the Red Sox as Cuevas gave up a run in the eighth to make the score 9-8 Rays.
Even NESN Color Analysts Jerry Remy and Steve Lyons pointed out that Uehara wasn't in the eighth. They spent a good deal of the inning wondering why Uehara wasn't in the game.
Farrell then had Uehara up and warming for what most thought would be an appearance in the ninth.
So in the ninth, after Cuevas let a runner on third, Farrell had Uehara sit back down and brought in Noe Ramirez.
It's still 9-8. The game is within reach. And he brings in Noe Ramirez.
Ramirez proceeded to give up 3 more runs and increase the score to 12-8 Rays.
NESN play-by-play guy Dave O'Brien got into it by calling Farrell's use of the bullpen "a head-scratcher".
And that it was.
Honestly, is Farrell trying to lose his job?
What was the logic behind his decisions? He let a kid make his MLB debut to try and hold a tight, important game: one that would give the Sox a whole lot of confidence as they head off to Houston. Then he brought in Noe Ramirez: someone you bring in when you're down by a lot. Not one run.
This is just another example of Farrell putting players in positions in which they're not fit to handle.
Is Cuevas a bad pitcher? No, not at all. But he's not the guy to bring in for almost three innings to try and hold a tie in a very important game.
Uehara is that guy and has earned that spot.
And if Uehara came in and blew the game for them again, you can't blame Farrell. With Farrell's leash as short as it is, depending on how the local 9 do in Houston, we may have seen Farrell's last game as Manager at Fenway Park.
While most give credit for the loss to David Price, I put the majority of it on Farrell.