So why did David Ortiz try and steal that base?
|04.10.12 at 2:32 am ET|
TORONTO – Lost in the fury that was the Red Sox’ ninth-inning comeback Monday night at Rogers Centre was a most curious decision by David Ortiz.
With one out in the seventh inning, Ryan Sweeney at the plate, and the Red Sox trailing by a run, Ortiz decided it was time to attempt a steal of second.
And while the play was close, the risk resulted in Toronto catcher J.P. Arencibia throwing out the designated hitter thanks to a quick tag by shortstop Yunel Escobar.
So, why did Ortiz execute his first stolen base attempt since July 25 of last season, when he got gunned down in Kansas City?
“I’ve got the first baseman playing behind me,” Ortiz said. “I’m feeling a little faster this year. There you go.”
But as surprising as the race to second was for a player has a career 11 steals in 19 attempts, the timing was even more perplexing.
Still, according to Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, there was a method to the madness.
“[First base coach Alex Ochoa] and David have been talking about it,” Valentine explained. “If they’re going to play behind him, if he can get a good jump and they can pick a good pitch. … I don’t know if a one-run game in the seventh inning is a little dicey, I’d say. You know, it’s going to get guys to hold him on base and create a hole for the guys who are hitting behind him. I think it’s a necessary strategy.”
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