The Kyle Schwarber first base experiment finally caught up to the Boston Red Sox on Monday night.
Schwarber, who played primarily outfield (and some catcher) in six seasons with the Chicago Cubs and half a season with the Washington Nationals, had yet to make an error in four appearances at first base since joining the Red Sox at the MLB trade deadline.
That changed Monday at a very unfortunate time. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning in a 2-2 game, Schwarber couldn't handle a Jake Bauers ground ball that should have been the third out.
What happened next? A J.P. Crawford single and a Mitch Haniger three-run home run that put Seattle up 5-2.
The Red Sox scored two runs in the top of the eighth but lost 5-4, dropping percentage points behind the New York Yankees for the second American League Wild Card spot and just two games ahead of the Mariners.
"It was in the glove. It squirted out and that was it," Schwarber said after the game, via the Associated Press. "Frustrated. I wanted to make that play. We had a one, two, three inning and it turns into a lot more."
Schwarber was the goat on Monday night, but he's less to blame than the situation Boston put him in. Monday was just his fifth career appearance at first base, and there were bound to be growing pains as he transitions to a new position.
The Red Sox appear OK letting Schwarber endure those growing pains to keep his bat in the lineup: He has 29 total home runs and 61 RBIs on the season with an .865 OPS since joining Boston. His first mishap at first base proved costly Monday night, though, and the Sox can't afford many more mishaps as they jockey for Wild Card position.