There was some drama in the Red Sox dugout earlier this evening, as left-hander Wade Miley had an argument with manager John Farrell after being informed that he was being taken out of the game. You can watch the video here.
It was a rough outing for Miley, who allowed five runs on nine hits over four innings. He allowed a total of three home runs, including a solo shot to Manny Machado in his final inning of work. Miley and Farrell exchanged words before walking down into the tunnel to complete their conversation in private.
Steven Wright and Junichi Tazawa combined to allow an unearned run over four innings in relief of Miley and David Ortiz hit his first home run since May 19, but Boston’s comeback fell one run short in a 6-5 loss. The Red Sox were swept in the series and now sit at 27-34 on the season, in last place in the American League East and seven games behind the first-place Yankees. Oh, and they are set to begin a series tomorrow against the Blue Jays, who have won eight straight and are the hottest team in the majors. Frustration is mounting.
Farrell was asked about the situation with Miley after the game:
If, as the pitchers say, dabbing pine tar and/or sunscreen on one’s arm or the bill of one’s cap and then applying it to a baseball is merely to get a better grip — and if, as hitters say, said better grip is helpful for hitters too — then it seems silly that players have to resort to stealth in order to obtain that better grip.
I sometimes wonder if it really is a better grip pitchers seek or a little somethin’ extra which well help them get batters out. And if, in turn, batters say they’re OK with it because their own pitchers are doing the same thing. But let’s take everyone at their word and agree that this is a sensible thing for pitchers to want. If so, why can’t they do it without having to risk suspension for being too obvious about it?
That’s something Red Sox manager John Farrell wants to know too. From WEEI:
“I would like to see an approved substance that pitchers can use . . . I think any time the game loses players for eight to 10 games, I think it makes us as an industry look within,” Farrell said. “If a number of pitchers are putting themselves at risk and the belief is a widespread number of pitchers are using it, why would we not look to improve the game? Nobody wants to see pitchers sidelined.”
Farrell added that the ball, as manufactured, is slippery and that something is needed for grip. Again, assuming pitchers aren’t really just trying to get extra movement on a ball Gaylord Perry-style, he’s got a great point.
Red Sox right-hander Justin Masterson had another rough start Tuesday, failing to make it out of the third inning against the A’s while allowing six runs, and his ERA now stands at 6.37.
After the game Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters that the team is considering its options with Masterson, saying “clearly he’s not right” to suggest a disabled list stint could be around the corner:
So we’ve got to gather some information overnight, we’ve got to check on him when he comes in in the morning, get a full work-up and just get a better assessment of where things are.
However, when asked minutes later about his health status Masterson made it very clear that he’s not hurt:
Other than not making good pitches? No. I never had a chance to feel comfortable. I didn’t feel comfortable in the pre-game bullpen, as far as just being able to get a good release point. … As we discuss right now, I’m more than capable [of making his next start Sunday]. I really think it’s not anything too extreme at this point.
Obviously there’s a big difference between a pitcher being injured and a pitcher’s mechanics being a mess, but either way the Red Sox may not want Masterson in the rotation for a while seven starts into a one-year, $9.25 million deal.