Scoring 19 runs in the first two games of the ALDS at Fenway Park, the Red Sox can certainly say they've benefitted from having home field advantage, but their home field advantage went beyond their hitters hitting well at a place they’re familiar with.
Playing at the sometimes-quirky Fenway Park, the Rays certainly had their share of difficulties over the weekend. It all started when rookie right fielder Wil Myers backed off a routine deep fly from David Ortiz in the fourth inning of Friday’s game when he apparently heard footsteps and the ball bounced over the fence into the Sox bullpen for a ground rule doubl,e igniting a Red Sox rally and completely changing the course of the game and perhaps the series.
Fans mockingly chanted “Myy-ers, Myy-ers, Myy-ers” numerous times for the rest of the weekend and whenever he stepped to the plate he was greeted with a round of applause. Not only were the fans heckling Myers, they were also very in tune with the game as there weren’t any greater roars all weekend than after the two double plays Sox relievers educed in the seventh and eighth innings in Saturday’s Game 2 win.
“Obviously, it was awesome. They were in it from the first inning through the ninth,” Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes said of the crowd.
The Rays left fielders also had some difficulties with playing balls hit off the Green Monster, which allowed the Red Sox take a few extra bases in the two games. Rays left fielder Sean Rodriguez misplayed a few balls Friday and then David DeJesus wasn’t much better on Saturday.
“I guess that praises our left fielders – myself, (Mike) Carp and (Daniel) Nava,” said Gomes. “We have been battling our butts off all the way since Fort Myers. I think they made about four to five, I wouldn’t say errors because they weren’t errors, but four or five in these two games and we haven’t seen that happen one time in 162-plus games. We’ve been putting our work in and that is going to say a lot about how home field advantage can help us out.”
Whenever the Sox take to the field next at Fenway, the Green Monster and the screaming 38-thousand-plus fans will still be there posing an issue for whatever team takes to the field.
“It’s part of why it’s home field advantage,” manager John Farrell said.
Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @Hannable84