Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Weeks' inexperience in left stands out in 9th

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- Rickie Weeks hasn't played much left field -- a grand total now of 58 out of the nearly 9,000 innings in his Major League career. But for the first time this season, that inexperience showed as the 12-year veteran dropped a sacrifice fly on the game-deciding play in Boston's 2-1 victory over the Mariners on Thursday.

In the end, Weeks' error didn't make any difference as Brock Holt would have scored from third on the play regardless. But it was a stark reminder of the difficulty of converting to a new position, something the Mariners are trying now as well with shortstop Brad Miller, who started the game in left field.

View Full Game Coverage

SEATTLE -- Rickie Weeks hasn't played much left field -- a grand total now of 58 out of the nearly 9,000 innings in his Major League career. But for the first time this season, that inexperience showed as the 12-year veteran dropped a sacrifice fly on the game-deciding play in Boston's 2-1 victory over the Mariners on Thursday.

In the end, Weeks' error didn't make any difference as Brock Holt would have scored from third on the play regardless. But it was a stark reminder of the difficulty of converting to a new position, something the Mariners are trying now as well with shortstop Brad Miller, who started the game in left field.

View Full Game Coverage

Weeks, who played strictly second base in 11 seasons with the Brewers, said he just got in a hurry trying to get set for a throw to the plate on the one-out fly ball by Mookie Betts.

"I was just rushing," said Weeks. "I ran up under it and was going to close my glove, but I was just rushing it."

Weeks, who entered the game in the eighth after pinch-hitting for Miller, also made a hurried play on Holt's leadoff double off Fernando Rodney to start the winning rally. Hustling over to get the ball in the gap, Weeks spun and threw high over the head of second baseman Robinson Cano as Holt took second.

Manager Lloyd McClendon and Cano both said even a good throw wouldn't have got Holt on that play, but Weeks wasn't so sure.

"I'm coming up throwing, trying to get the guy out and it just sailed on me," he said. "It would have been a tough play. That would have been bang-bang. That's why I came up rushing, trying to get him."

Weeks, who has started seven of the team's first 34 games in left field, wasn't about to use his inexperience as an excuse, however.

"It's baseball," he said. "I'm playing baseball. The biggest thing for me is to stay prepared and just go out there and play baseball."

Miller, making his first start in left field after playing shortstop his entire college and pro career, caught a game-opening line drive by Betts and fielded a number of base hits cleanly in his only action before Weeks got the tough plays in the ninth.

Video: BOS@SEA: Miller catches liner in first start in left

McClendon acknowledged the risk of converting infielders to outfielders without a lot of playing time under their belt, but noted Hanley Ramirez has made a similar switch this year for the Red Sox.

"Go over there and ask them," McClendon said. "You live with it. It's just the way it is. Every team in baseball has warts. Nobody has a perfect team. I'm not going to sit here and say the play in the ninth inning cost us the game, because it didn't. There was a double, he made an errant throw and it was still a double. They got him over and it was a sacrifice fly with an error. Those things happen. That's baseball. The best of 'em make errors, trust me."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast.

Seattle Mariners, Rickie Weeks