ST. PETERSBURG., Fla. -- Manager John Farrell, in a session in his office with the team’s beat reporters, revisited some of his key decisions in Monday’s 5-4 loss to the Rays.
"It’s not just based on an intangible trust or faith there. To me, there’s sound reasoning behind not pinch-hitting for Stephen Drew in that situation. I know everyone calls that just because there’s a right-handed pitcher, a right-handed hitter is an automatic base hit. I wish that was the case.
"McGee is pretty much a one-pitch guy [fastball]. That’s why last night to me was -- and as dominant as [McGee] is against right-handers, that was a clear-cut decision at that point."
Bogaerts had 50 plate appearances after his September call-up, none since Sept. 24. He was 1-for-2 as a pinch hitter, and Farrell noted that factors into using Bogaerts in that role.
Farrell’s answer was prefaced by someone noting that the Sox had issued just 10 intentional walks all season, the fewest in the majors (Seattle led the AL with 48, San Francisco the majors with 64).
"If there’s a matchup that clearly works against us, that’s one," Farrell said in describing situations in which he feels an intentional walk is in order. "In last night’s situation, Clay’s success against Longoria -- to put him in a bases loaded situation with no room to maneuver, I didn’t want to do that with Clay.
"Even though [Wil] Myers was behind him [and is now 0-for-12 in the series], that’s a good fastball hitter, and you put [Buchholz] in a position where you’ve got to put the ball on the plate. And I’d rather have Clay have that freedom to maneuver through it."
Farrell is all for pitching around a batter in such a situation.
"I really felt that was the way [Buchholz] was going about it last night. He was having success pounding him in. First-pitch sinker [a swing and miss]. As a pitcher, you’re trying to get that hitter’s front hip to fly, to pull off, and he does it with the first pitch, the sinker. He goes in behind it with the changeup. The read for the hitter [is], here’s the same pitch, but it’s an off-speed pitch with deception. He got to the area [down and in]. He just elevated it a little bit."