|Six homers have Ortiz (jokingly) reconsidering Home Run Derby selections||07.07.11 at 11:57 pm ET|
In Thursday night’s 10-4 win over the Orioles, the Red Sox smashed six home runs, their most since they also hit half a dozen on September 8, 2009. Those bombs came against a live pitching staff whose job is to get the hitters out as best it can.
In the 2010 Home Run Derby, Matt Holliday (five), Nick Swisher (four), Vernon Wells (two) and Chris Young (one) couldn’t tally that many against a hurler whose job it was to actually allow dingers by the handful.
Put aside for a second the fact that yes a team as a whole gets more opportunities to hit a home run and yes this was the Baltimore staff whose ERA was the highest among all AL teams entering Thursday night and you’d still have to admit that the amount of power the Sox displayed was pretty impressive, even when compared to Home Run Derby participants.
But was it impressive enough to get the captain of this year’s AL Derby team, David Ortiz, to reconsider the choices for his bomb squad of himself, Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Bautista and Robinson Cano in next Monday’s battle?
“I’m thinking about taking Pedey [Dustin Pedroia],” Ortiz joked. “Pedey, wow that’s impressive. That goes to the moon. That’s what he always says. ‘I’m going to the moon.’”
Ortiz was of course talking about Pedroia’s three-run homer in the third inning that had a certain local glass company’s sponsorship written all over it. The second baseman, who didn’t earn a spot on this year’s AL All-Star squad, took a fastball that was up and in and rocketed it over the AAA sign on the Green Monster and into the parking lot across Lansdowne St.
Don’t expect Jacoby Ellsbury, who will be down in Arizona along with Ortiz, Gonzalez and Josh Beckett representing the AL in the All-Star Game, to be jealous though, even if he did stroke his career-high 11th of the season with a dart down the right-field line in the sixth inning.
“No, he made a good choice,” Ellsbury said. “I was just joking around about it yesterday, but it’s just nice to put some swings on some balls and get results.”
Then again, what about Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Josh Reddick who combined with Ortiz’s home run in the seventh for Boston’s first back-to-back-to-back job since August 13, 2010? (Gonzalez is exempt of consideration even though he hit a rope of his own to center in the fifth because, you know, Ortiz already picked him.)
If it were up to Ellsbury, he’d have a hard time choosing any of the six hacks as the best.
“They’re all pretty good swings,” he said. “You can’t go wrong with any of them.”
Better leave it to the professionals then.
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