Red Sox

Farrell: 'Terrible decision on my part' to pitch to Cruz

tazawa_redsox_mariners.jpg

Farrell: 'Terrible decision on my part' to pitch to Cruz

SEATTLE - Traditionally, in postgame media sessions with reporters, a manager waits for the first question to be asked.

John Farrell knew what that first question was going to be Friday night. More to the point, he had the answer ready, too.

"Before you even ask a question, that's a terrible decision on my part. I own that one,'' said a fuming Farrell.

The decision in question was to have reliever Junichi Tazawa pitch to Seattle Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz with the potential winning run on second and first base open in the ninth inning.

Cruz foiled the strategy by lining a single to left-center, scoring Brad Miller from second base and giving the Mariners a 2-1 walk-off win over the Red Sox.

Cruz was the American League Player of the Month for April and in May, before Friday night, was hitting .435 with seven RBI in 12 games. He led the American League in homers, slugging and OPS and was tied for second in RBI.

"We had a base open,'' said Farrell. "I saw Cruz's first three at-bats and he was chasing some off-speed below the zone. He was 1-for-8 against Taz, but it didn't work out. That's a terrible decision on my part. We had it set up. Walk him, take the bat out of his hands and then we've got a left-on-left with (lefthander Tommy) Layne and (Kyle) Seager.

"As we sit here in this moment, after the walkoff, yeah, that's the move to make. But like I said, terrible decision on my part...We had a couple of opportunities offensively, but still, that decision in the ninth inning was the story in this one.''

The Red Sox led 1-0 until starter Clay Buchholz made the only mistake he would make all night, leaving a two-seamer up in the zone for Seth Smith to hit out in the sixth.

The game remained tied until the ninth. With Buchholz at 102 pitches, Farrell went with Layne to start the inning. Layne retired pinch-hitter Willie Bloomquist on a groundout to short before Brad Miller reached on an infield single.

After Layne got Robinson Cano on a groundout to first, moving Miller to scoring position, he went to Tazawa for Cruz. In hindsight, the better move would have been to keep Layne in the game, walk Cruz intentionally and have Layne go after the left-handed Seager.

Instead, Farrell gambled and lost.

In the clubhouse, the players backed their manager.

"I don't put blame on anybody,'' said Dustin Pedroia. "Everybody has to find a way to help us win. It happens. Shoot, we had opportunities to score runs. That's the way I look at it. Decisions at the end of the game, I mean, you can put those to rest at the beginning of the game. We had chances and it just didn't go our way.''

Added Buchholz: "We get paid to pitch. I'm almost positive that Taz wasn't trying to throw that pitch anywhere in the zone. It's just that sometimes it happens, man. You can't be too hard on yourself. It's the part of the game that's hard to take sometimes.''

MLB Rumors: Yankees offer Gerrit Cole a record contract

gerrit_cole_120819.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

MLB Rumors: Yankees offer Gerrit Cole a record contract

The Boston Red Sox may be looking to cut their payroll this offseason. But that doesn't mean that their rivals will be too.

In fact, some may spend big. And that includes the New York Yankees.

The Yankees have been reportedly interested in free-agent pitcher Gerrit Cole. The former Houston Astro is expected to get a lot of money on the open market, and according to Bob Klapisch of the New York Times, the Yankees have made a record-setting offer for his services.

This would be a big signing for the Yankees, as they could use another top-tier pitcher for their starting rotation. And Cole would certainly fill that need.

Cole, 29, had one of the best seasons of his career for the Astros, logging a 20-5 record and posting a 2.50 ERA. He also struck out a league-best 326 batters and helped the Astros win the American League pennant.

While the Yankees offer is on the table, they are still competing with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels to earn his services, as Klapisch noted. We'll see if this offer is enough or if any of the teams involved in the sweepstakes up the ante.

And while the Yankees chase after Cole, the Red Sox are weighing some moves of their own. According to the latest rumors, they are expressing interest in a reunion with Rick Porcello.

Where Cole ranks among the MLB's top 10 free agent starting pitchers>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

MLB Rumors: Red Sox interested in a reunion with Rick Porcello

MLB Rumors: Red Sox interested in a reunion with Rick Porcello

The Boston Red Sox may be trying to cut some payroll this offseason, but that isn't going to stop them from targeting some free agents. And that may include one of their own.

According to Jason Mastrodonato of The Boston Herald, the Red Sox are having talks with Rick Porcello about a potential reunion. While the Red Sox may be interested in Porcello, Mastrodonato wrote that "it's unclear how aggressive the Red Sox will be in their pursuit."

He also noted that a short-term, incentive-based contract may make sense for both sides.

Porcello, soon to be 31, has spent the past five seasons with the Red Sox after being acquired in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Wilson, and Gabe Speier. He won the Cy Young Award in his second year with the team, 2016, but he has had issues in the seasons since that campaign.

In 2019, Porcello endured his worst campaign as a pro, logging a career-worst 5.52 ERA and 7.4 K/9, his worst mark since joining the Red Sox. Still, he posted a 14-12 record and still profiles as a solid back-end starter because of his ability to eat innings.

We'll soon see if the Red Sox end up being involved in the Porcello sweepstakes. If they are involved, they will have competition and may find themselves facing off with the likes of the New York Mets, who reportedly have an interest in Porcello.

Where Porcello ranks among the MLB's top 10 free agent starting pitchers>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.