With Eric Wedge recovering from a mild stroke, bench coach Robby Thompson has been Seattle's acting manager. Last night, Thompson learned the hard way that managing isn't all sunshine and daisies. Sometimes you have to know your right from your left.
The Mariners entered the ninth with a five-run lead over Boston, but closer Tom Wilhelmsen got knocked around, putting the first four batters on base. With a switch-hitter up and a righty on deck, Thompson wanted to bring in righty reliever Yoervis Medina. But he signaled to the bullpen with his left arm, catching himself almost immediately—but the damage was done. The umpires forced the Mariners to bring in lefty Oliver Perez.
“If there’s anything there for me, it’s a lesson learned that if you make any motion with either hand, that’s it,” Thompson said. “I didn’t realize that.’’
Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters he wouldn’t have argued had the umpires allowed Thompson to bring in Medina.
Perez promptly gave up a two-run single to Shane Victorino. Thompson stuck with him for the righthanded Dustin Pedroia, because lefty David Ortiz was on deck. Pedroia singled home another run.
Perez did strike out Ortiz, and Medina finally came on. Single, walk, single, and the comeback was complete, with the Red Sox moving a full game into first place in the AL East. Felix Hernandez, who left after seven innings with a 7-1 lead, is stuck in Seattle through 2019.