Red Sox: Alex Cora’s head scratching issue with Minor’s 200th strikeout

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 14: Manager Alex Cora #20 of the Boston Red Sox before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 14, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 14: Manager Alex Cora #20 of the Boston Red Sox before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 14, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

On Thursday, Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora took issue with how the Texas Rangers handled Mike Minor’s 200th strikeout of the season. Here’s why he’s wrong.

Baseball is riddled with numerous and pointless unwritten rules, many of which appear more like a strike to a “man’s” ego than anything else. One such case occurred in a meaningless game between the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers on Thursday, and Alex Cora seems to be the only one to take notice.

Entering Thursday’s matchup, Rangers starter Mike Minor had 191 strikeouts. Prior to this season, Minor had never struck out 200 hitters in a single year. Accomplishing this feat would be quite the accomplishment for the eight-year veteran of the league.

More from Call to the Pen

Cut to the ninth inning and at this point, it’s clear that Rangers manager Chris Woodward is doing everything he can to allow Minor to reach the milestone. To this point, the starter had allowed five runs in 8.1 IP, increased his strikeout total to 199, and had thrown 123 pitches.

His previous high was 117 pitches way back in June.

Facing what would be his final hitter in Chris Owings, Minor induced a 1-1 meek pop up to the first base side. Instead of making the play, Rangers’ first baseman Ronald Guzman allowed the ball to drop, extending the at-bat and making the count 1-2.

Soon after, Minor would sneak a breaking ball high and tight for his 200th strikeout of the season. This prompted Woodward to finally remove Minor from the game, his teammates cheering for him from the top step of the dugout.

Was this a “cheap” way to achieve such an accomplishment? Sure. At the end of the day, however, it’s a minor feat in the grand scheme of things. Both teams, the Rangers and the Red Sox, are headed nowhere but home at the end of the season, so who cares. Right?

Wrong.

Alex Cora took issue with the decision after the game, saying, 

"“I’m just happy our guys are playing the game the right way. We’re playing hard until the end. It’s been 2 weeks we’ve been eliminated but we’ve been going at it the right way. That’s all I ask. I don’t manage the Rangers.”"

What Cora fails to see, however, is that at the end of the day, his hitters are the ones who struck out nine times in the game. The dropped pop-up doesn’t happen if the previous strikeout hadn’t taken place.

On Thursday, it was announced that the New York Mets would bat Pete Alonso leadoff in his quest for Aaron Judge‘s rookie home run record. Should the Atlanta Braves, their opponents this weekend, feel offended by this?

I submit that they should not.

Don’t allow the home run, that’s how you prevent such milestones from happening.

Next. Why Stephen Strasburg is a perfect fit for the Padres. dark

As for Alex Cora and the Red Sox, look in the mirror. After all, you are in part responsible for Minor’s accomplishment