By Mike Harrington
ST. LOUIS -- There were plenty of questions for Red Sox manager John Farrell at his pregame briefing with the media tonight in the wake of the bizarre finish to Game Three of the World Series. As there should have been.
(Be sure to double back and read my Web-only story on the game, complete with comments from both clubhouses).
Things went completely haywire for the Red Sox in the ninth inning, long before the interference call on Will Middlebrooks that provided an all-time ending that veteran New York Post scribe Joel Sherman dubbed "The Immaculate Obstruction" in today's editions.
Here's a quick rundown of some of the things Farrell said:
On dealing with the call: 'It wasn't a normal night of sleep, I know that. You review the whole game. You replay it in your mind. You learn from the experiences you go through. I'm sure there's a number of our guys in our uniform that our probably doing the same thing."
On the call at third base: "The call was made correctly. ... If there was the ability to have some measure in that portion of judgment on intent. Right now there is none. It doesn't matter on intent or not. When Will Middlebrooks is lying on his stomach, it's hard to say he was intending to impede that runner's progress. The way the obstruction rule is set up right now, the baserunner can be the agressor and beneficiary on both sides. They can seek out an infielder, run into him and benefit by advancing."
On pitching to John Jay in the ninth rather than having Koji Uehara walk him and face light-hitting Pete Kozma with the bases loaded: "To walk the bases loaded and back Koji in a corner where he has no room to maneuver inside a given at-bat? Didn't want to do it."
(My take: That's crazy. Uehara has issued nine walks in 84 innings this year counting the postseason. Had to walk Jay)
On today's pen: Uehara, Craig Breslow and Uehara are all available tonight. Even John Lackey can throw an inning.
Game Five starter Jon Lester also met the media and had some insight on the clubhouse mood. The clubhouses, remember, are closed before the game during the postseason so there's no real way to get any second-day reaction.
"I think today everyone was fine. I think last night, that's not how you want to end a World Series game," Lester said. "I think some guys were probably shocked, confused, a lot of different emotions going on. But there's nothing we can do to change it. So we have to move forward to today and focus on today. And if we let that affect us in the clubhouse today and during that game, then we've already been beat."
Regarding tonight's lineups, long after meeting the media, Farrell scratched Shane Victorino due to lower back tightness and put Jonny Gomes in left while moving Daniel Nava to right. No explanation as of yet. Here's the lineups:
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Daniel Nava RF Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz 1B
Jonny Gomes LF Daniel Nava LF
Xander Bogaerts 3B
Stephen Drew SS
David Ross C
Clay Buchholz P
Matt Carpenter 2B
Carlos Beltran RF
Matt Holliday LF
Matt Adams 1B
Yadier Molina C
John Jay CF
David Freese 3B
David Descalso SS
Lance Lynn P
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