BOSTON - Hanley Ramirez insisted that the ball he dropped out in left field during the fifth inning hit the Green Monster before it hit his glove.
He told every reporter after the game: "Make sure you guys see the replay person and then ask me about it."
Well, we'll have to ask him about it on Sunday, because after watching the replay, it's pretty clear that the ball did not hit the wall before it hit Ramirez' glove. It hit the heel of his glove as he jumped to make the catch.
It wasn't an easy catch to make, but it was catchable. And it didn't hit the wall first, at least not in the replay I saw.
"There was nothing I could do on that play," Ramirez insisted. "I jumped and the ball just hit the wall."
Ramirez, too, said he saw the replay.
Again, it's a tough catch - and even an outfielder who has played the position all his life would have had difficulty making it, but it wasn't too high off the wall to make the catch like Ramirez insisted.
It's not the first bit of difficulty Ramirez has had in Fenway's left field this year. Earlier this week against the Nationals, he went back to the wall before ducking as it bounced off of it and past him. It's to be expected that Ramirez would have some trouble early on.
"Defensively, there's been a couple of balls where he might have been a little bit in-between particularly on the carom off the wall," John Farrell said. "Today I thought he went back in good shape, the ball just hit him on the heel of the glove."
The inning before that, Ramirez didn't get to a ball hit in the left field corner in time. This one would have been tough for him to catch even in an all-out sprint, though we'll never know.
"The wind blew that one and we weren't [playing] the line, we were playing towards the gap," Ramirez said.
The wind is just one of a few factors Ramirez is learning to play with.
"It's unbelievable. It can switch on you, it can change on you in like two seconds," Ramirez said of the wind. "I remember one play it was blowing towards left field and one batter after it was blowing the other way. So you just gotta stay on it and keep working."
Ramirez has a ways to go. Nobody expected a Gold Glover out in left when he signed over the offseason. He was signed for his bat, and the hope was and still is that he can be an adequate fielder.
"We knew that it was going to be a transition for him," Farrell said. "There was going to be work to be done. The wall here is going to be different than what we had the ability to work with in Ft. Myers just because of the way it's constructed. So, to me there's nothing alarming. The more games played, the more comfortable he's going to get."