Baserunning gaffe costs Rays
Crawford stopped running as first-inning line drive was dropped
PHILADELPHIA -- The Rays shuffled their lineup for Game 5 of the World Series, but their mistakes continued on Monday night. Carl Crawford, moved up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order, did not run out a ball in the top of the first inning, and it likely cost his team a baserunner.
Crawford hit a hard liner right at Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins with one out in the top of the first. When Crawford saw where the ball was headed, he pulled up on his way to first base.
However, Rollins bobbled the ball, unable to make a clean catch. Crawford picked up speed once he saw that Rollins hadn't made a play on the ball, but it was too late. Rollins' throw to Ryan Howard at first base barely beat Crawford, and the inning ended without a baserunner for Tampa Bay.
The play recalled Game 1, when B.J. Upton twice took his time getting to first base on double-play balls. The first of those two plays ended up being extremely close, and harder running might have gotten Upton on base.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.