It looked like Mariners right fielder Eric Thames managed to grab Paul Konerko’s fly to deep right-center with one out in the ninth inning tonight. Alas, that all changed when center fielder Michael Saunders plowed into him, giving the White Sox a 9-8 win.
Here’s the video.
The game was tied at 8 before Dewayne Wise came around from second to score on the play. Konerko was credited with a walkoff single, and the Mariners lost despite a furious comeback that saw them score six runs in the top of the ninth to take an 8-7 lead.
The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”
Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.
After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.