So the Sox won, but there is controversy… or not. I’m not sure. Traditionally the heartbreaking call goes against us, so I’m not sure what to do.
Top of the 13th, runner on first, bomb hit to right hits the wall on the fly, bounces off, hits the ground, hits the right fielder and lands in the bullpen. That’s clearly a ground rule double. Hitting the fielder is the only thing unusual, but it hit the ground. Had it gone off the wall then off the player then out it would have been a home run, I think, but hitting the ground makes it two bases. Period.
I don’t think that’s the question though. The question is where to place the runner who was on first. At the time the ball left the field, I believe the runner had already reached second base. So does he get two bases from there, or two bases from where he started.
If you had asked me this out of context I would have said he ends up on third. Two bases from the start of the play, but I would have asked if the umpires had any discretion in the matter. If they did then he scores. Fortunately for the Red Sox (or not, as it turned out) the umpires do not have any discretion on the call. Two bases from the start of the play. The runner on first advances to third. Period. End of discussion.
Tampa would have taken a 5-4 lead, the inning still would have ended when the next batter fanned, and the Red Sox would still have had a runner on base when Vasquez hit the walk off home run in the bottom of the 13th. The Sox would have won 6-5, but the runner was placed on third instead of being allowed to score, so the Sox won 6-4.
Either way, holy shit what a game!