The Boston Red Sox received a scare tonight when Yankees reliever Jeff Nelson hit first baseman Mike Stanley on the right wrist with a baseball in the eighth inning.
Stanley was removed from the game, with his wrist hurting. X-rays were negative, but the Red Sox may not have Stanley for Game 3 in Boston on Saturday if the swelling and soreness are still severe.
The Red Sox are already without reliever Rich Garces, who pitched two perfect innings in Game 1. He has a pulled muscle beneath his arm pit and it's unclear when he will be able to pitch again. He was not available tonight.
Ump Calls Himself Out
Umpire Rick Reed admitted he blew a call in the top of the 10th inning that might have allowed the Red Sox to score the go-ahead run in Game 1 Wednesday.
Red Sox second baseman Jose Offerman led off the 10th with a single against Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. Boston third baseman John Valentin then hit a grounder to third baseman Scott Brosius, who flipped to second baseman Chuck Knoblauch for the force out on Offerman.
Knoblauch dropped the ball, but Reed, the umpire at second base, called Offerman out anyway, ruling that Knoblauch held the ball long enough for the out. Red Sox Manager Jimy Williams argued the call, and after the game, Reed admitted he had blown it.
"I thought he had possession before he dropped the ball," Reed said. "After we went in and looked at the tape, we decided that wasn't the case. As an umpire, it was my job to get it right. I didn't. I feel awful."
Rivera then got Brian Daubach to hit into an inning-ending double play, and Bernie Williams hit Rod Beck's second pitch out of the park to give the Yankees a 4-3 victory.
In last year's player survey on the quality of umpires in the major leagues, Reed was ranked 14th out of 32 AL umpires. He was rated 12th for the accuracy of his calls on the bases.
"The umpires are doing their jobs the best they can," Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra said. "That didn't make the difference in the game."
Today, Jimy Williams took little consolation from Reed's admission. He wondered why Reed didn't ask one of the other five umpires for help if he was unable to see the play.
"We're held accountable for what we do on the field," Williams said. "You have six umpires who are a team. I don't know a lot about umpiring, but I do know the closer you are to a play the tougher it is to see everything.
"I didn't ask him to ask another umpire. Maybe that was my fault. But why should we in baseball have to ask? In football and basketball, they seem to step in. I don't point at Rick Reed, but they are a team. I'm not saying we would have scored. I've asked before. I guess I had a brain lapse. I just didn't ask."
Brosius Copes With Loss
Brosius has once again found his magical touch in the postseason by getting three hits--a two-run home run, triple and single--in Game 1.
Brosius deserves a nice finish to a season in which he often was distracted by his father's fight against cancer. His father died late in the season, and Brosius admitted it has taken him a while to get totally interested in baseball again. Now, the 1998 World Series MVP seems close to being his old self, a respected blue-collar player who is at his best in the biggest games.
Brosius went home to Oregon and missed 11 games in September before and after his father's death. He hit .182 in the final month of the season and was 1 for 10 against Texas.
"I don't know if it's going to affect me or not," Brosius said. "Once I get home it will affect me. But at this time of year . . . I'm supposed to be playing baseball, so I can kind of keep some of these things where they're supposed to be until I get home."