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The debate goes on: Should Juan Rivera have made that catch Tuesday night?

May 5, 2010 |  3:29 pm

There was a consensus among several television commentators that Juan Rivera should have caught Jeremy Hermida's eighth-inning, opposite-field fly ball to left field Tuesday night, a ball that bounced about a foot in front of the Green Monster in Fenway Park for a tiebreaking three-run double that led the Boston Red Sox to a 5-1 victory over the Angels.

Angelslogo After watching several replays, Ron Roenicke, the Angels bench coach who handles the outfielders, said Rivera could have caught the ball, but he's not so sure he should have made the catch. Rivera was shaded toward the gap, and he sprinted about 90 feet into the corner before turning his back to the plate at the last second in anticipation of the ball caroming off the wall.

"I think he was trying to figure out where the ball was going to be, and the route he took wasn't at the ball," Roenicke said. "Trying to go back into that corner with the high [outfield] wall and the brick wall in foul territory can be difficult.

"If he got his angle perfect, he would have caught the ball. When you're running and looking at that high wall, you're thinking, if the ball goes off the wall there is no one backing me up, and I'm going to be in trouble. I think it was a tough play. I think Juan runs good routes. He just didn't run the perfect route for that ball."

Rivera was not in the lineup for Wednesday night's game against the Red Sox, but Manager Mike Scioscia said he wanted to start the switch-hitting Maicer Izturis against Boston right-hander John Lackey. Hideki Matsui, who bats left-handed, will make his fourth start in left field, and Izturis, who is limited because of a sore shoulder, will start at designated hitter.

--Mike DiGiovanna in Boston