|Closing Time: David Ortiz barely misses cycle in victory over Indians||05.22.16 at 5:02 pm ET|
Fenway Park can’t contain David Ortiz. If it could, he might’ve hit for the cycle on Sunday.
Batting in the eighth inning with a single, double and home run already secured, Ortiz drove a would-be triple to the triangle in center, but it took a bad hop into the stands for a ground-rule double, and Ortiz had to settle for a ho-hum 4-for-4 day to lead the Red Sox to a 5-2 victory over the Indians.
“When I went to hit, it wasn’t on my mind but when I went around first base, and I saw everybody going crazy I was like, ‘Oh, I better get it going.’ No, things happen for a reason, you know?” Ortiz said. “If God meant for me to hit a triple, just take a minute, you know? You don’t want to overdo things and all of a sudden something bad happens. I’m happy with the result anyway.”
The Red Sox offense just keeps rolling. Not even one of the best pitchers in the American League could slow it on Sunday.
Indians right-hander Danny Salazar began the afternoon with a 1.80 ERA, but the Red Sox punished him for eight hits and four runs in just 4 1/3 innings. Ortiz, not surprisingly, did most of the damage, briefly tying Seattle’s Robinson Cano for the AL RBI lead with 37 by driving in three.
Had his drive in the eighth not hit the padding in center and hopped sideways into the stands next to the 420 sign in center, he would’ve had the cycle.
The Red Sox actually missed a number of chances, leaving the bases loaded twice, but they did enough to take two of three from the Indians. They scored two in the first on an RBI single by Ortiz and another by Hanley Ramirez off of Salazar’s leg.
|Why Red Sox should offer David Ortiz $25 million not to retire||05.19.16 at 11:52 am ET|
The Red Sox shouldn’t just look at that Players Tribune video and start planning the ceremonies.
They have to at least make an effort to change David Ortiz’s mind. John Henry and Co. are simply not doing their due diligence if they don’t offer to tear up the designated hitter’s current vesting option for 2017 and offer him $25 million to play in 2017.
This wouldn’t be exactly the kind of shot in the dark former Celtics boss M.L. Carr took when reportedly offering the Bulls a first-round draft pick just for the right to talk to a retired Michael Jordan.
But it would certainly be an outside-the-box — albeit very necessary — last gasp attempt.
Some believe Ortiz opened the door for such a conversation when talking to Yahoo! Sports recently, saying …
“I’m happy with the decision that I made. And my feet are happy with the decision that I made, and my wife is happy with the decision that I made. I’ve got to wait until next year when I ain’t doing [expletive] to see how it’s gonna hit home. Because I’m not gonna lie to you, I don’t know. I think I played enough baseball.
“Hopefully nobody comes to me and offers $25 million, either. I don’t even want to talk about it,” Ortiz said. “Like I said, I’m good with the decision that I made right now. But would you leave $25 million on the table? I don’t want nobody to offer me that.”
I don’t necessarily believe he was trying to send the Red Sox some hidden message, but it did open an interesting discussion.
|Red Sox president Sam Kennedy on OM&F: ‘I haven’t heard anything to the contrary’ regarding David Ortiz’s retirement||05.18.16 at 12:58 pm ET|
Boston Red Sox president Sam Kennedy joined Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Wednesday morning to discuss David Ortiz’s retirement and other team news. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.
Kennedy called into the show from the MLB owners meetings in New York to talk about David Ortiz and his final season in a Red Sox uniform. The 40-year-old designated hitter is having a great season, batting .311/.395/.674 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs. There’s plenty of speculation that Ortiz could play another year for Boston, considering his high level of play.
“I haven’t heard anything to the contrary, but it is a little bit remarkable to consider what this guy’s doing,” Kennedy said. “One of the things we’ve been chatting about is when you announce [that] you’re retiring, every moment is a big moment, and this guy lives for the big moments. I do think that’s factoring in here. He’s soaking it all up as you would expect David Ortiz to do. But to put up the numbers he’s putting up and the clutch hits is just remarkable and really is what he’s done his entire career in a Red Sox uniform. We feel fortunate to just [have] been around this incredible era and it’s really fun to watch.”
Kennedy also described the moment he first discovered that the slugger had plans to retire.
“David handled it exactly the way you think he would have. I got a call from his marketing agent, Alex Radetsky, who’s done a lot of work with making sure that David had the right cell phone number for John Henry. David called John directly to tell him. I believe it was back in early November if I recall, and he had made the decision, it was his decision alone. We were surprised, and I remember it was around the time of the owners meetings in Dallas, and we chatted a little bit about what it would be like in a post-David Ortiz era, which was none of us really wanted to think about, and that’s the week we went to Nashville to meet with David Price.
“It was a very busy time, it was surprising to us, but it was exclusively David’s decision. One of the things he said to John, he really did say, ‘I want to go out while I’m feeling good and have an incredible season, I want to try and win another World Series and go out on top.’ Who knows what the future brings, but this has been a very special season. It’s obviously early, but we’re all enjoying the ride with David. He’s provided us with so many memories in our time here, and this year’s no exception.”
Added Kennedy: “I think [Ortiz’s retirement] is a conversation that will just naturally have to come out, giving what he’s been doing. But I can tell you there has been no conversations about 2017, and we haven’t heard anything from David other than what he told us in the offseason. … He’s just meant so much to this franchise, and off the field, everyone knows what he’s done off the field. He’s a wondrous, once-in-a-generation-type player, and it’s going to be hard to think about a post-David Ortiz era, but right now we’re focused on 2016 and the task at hand.”
|Red Sox teammates, coaches continue to marvel at David Ortiz||05.14.16 at 7:14 pm ET|
After David Ortiz’s latest performance, it wasn’t difficult to find a little bit of shock and a whole lot of praise from the Red Sox clubhouse.
What Ortiz did this time was give the Red Sox a 5-5 tie with two outs in the ninth inning thanks to an RBI triple into left-center field. He then punctuated the comeback in the 11th inning with a walk-off RBI double.
Consider Ortiz had already launched his 10th homer of the season in the third inning, and it all added up to a bath of flour and then Powerade courtesy of his teammates after the walk-off, and then a shower of compliments moments later.
It was, after all, his 20th career regular-season walk-off hit, eight of which have been in extra-innings. He also joined Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds as the only players in Major League Baseball history with at least 600 doubles and 500 homers.
Third base coach Brian Butterfield: “I’ve never seen anything like it. He’s a modern-day Babe Ruth.”
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts: “He enjoys those moments. It’s for some people, and it’s not for other people. He thrives in situations like that, and he can’t wait to get opportunities like that.”
“The way he’s doing it right now with power, the extra-base hits, at his age, it’s craziness, man. .. How he does it, man. It’s not no bloop hit, either. It’s not those cheap hits I get. He’s just hitting balls far.”
David Ortiz was in a hurry after Saturday’s dramatic extra-inning win over the Astros as he needed to get home for his daughter’s birthday party.
He did not speak to the media, but did look back before departing the clubhouse and said: “Just say I’m a bad [expletive], man, I’m out.”
Ortiz went 3-for-5 in the game, falling just a single shy of the cycle.
Trailing 5-4 in the ninth, Ortiz crushed a triple to left-center field against Houston closer Luke Gregerson to tie the game at 5.
“[Friday] night I was facing Gregerson, who has an unbelievable sinker,” said Ortiz on the Red Sox radio broadcast postgame show. “When we played in Houston I faced him a couple of times, I faced him one time in Oakland, and last night I had a game plan I just missed that pitch. Today I went with the same game plan, trying to get that sinker down and away. That’s his secret weapon. … I just stuck with my game plan.”
Then in the 11th inning and first base open after Xander Bogaerts advanced to second on a wild pitch, Ortiz got a pitch to hit and laced a game-winning RBI double off the wall in center field to give the Red Sox a dramatic 6-5 win.
“I thought they were going to kind of pitch around, so I tried to stay aggressive because of that,” Ortiz told Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett regarding his final at-bat. “He threw me a changeup. I wanted to make sure I didn’t get caught up in, ‘They’re going to pitch around me and I’m not going to swing.’ It’s a crucial moment where you have to be award of the situation. When I go to the plate I try to make things happen.”
Saturday’s game belonged to David Ortiz.
After Xander Bogaerts singled with two outs in the 11th inning, Ortiz crushed an RBI double off the wall in center field to give the Red Sox a dramatic 6-5 win over the Astros.
It was a questionable decision to pitch to Ortiz with first base open after Bogaerts advanced to second on a wild pitch.
And that wasn’t his only big hit of the game.
Trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth and two outs, Jackie Bradley Jr. was on first and Ortiz at the plate. The slugger ripped a triple to left-center off Astros closer Luke Gregerson to tie the game at five.
But then even more bizarre than Ortiz hitting a triple, Hanley Ramirez tried to bunt with the game-winning run 90 feet away and was out with plenty of room to spare at first base.
“What makes David so good in those spots is, he never comes out of his approach,” manager John Farrell said. “His heart rate I don’t think really elevates that much — maybe at times when a strike is called against him. He’s hitting in those moments with such clarity. He’s done it so often that he’s extremely confident in those key spots.”
Ortiz finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBIs, falling just a single short of the cycle.
|Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz returns, Chris Young starts in LF against A’s left-hander Eric Surkamp||05.11.16 at 3:32 pm ET|
After just a day off on Tuesday, David Ortiz returns to the Red Sox lineup Wednesday against the Athletics as the Red Sox are looking for a sweep.
Chris Young will start in left field once again as the A’s will send lefty Eric Surkamp to the mound.
Christian Vazquez will catch Red Sox starter Rick Porcello.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Chris Young, LF
Travis Shaw, 3B
Christian Vazquez, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Rick Porcello, RHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|Hanley Ramirez excels once again as designated hitter, but not thinking about replacing David Ortiz||05.10.16 at 11:31 pm ET|
After a bit of a slow start, Hanley Ramirez is starting to get it going at the plate.
The first baseman started the season hitting .258 on April 21, but since then Ramirez has raised his average to .301 following Tuesday’s 3-for-4 performance against the Athletics.
It wasn’t all that surprising to see Ramirez have success Tuesday as he was serving as the designated hitter with David Ortiz getting the night off. Ramirez has thrived in the designated hitter role over the course of his career, as following Tuesday he is batting .333 in 28 career games as the designated hitter with seven home runs, 17 extra-base hits and 26 RBIs.
He isn’t surprised with his numbers in those games.
“You only have to concentrate on just one thing — just hit,” he said. “It’s not my thing yet.”
The “yet” he’s referring to is the possibility of him being the full-time designated hitter once Ortiz retires following this season. Ramirez said Ortiz hasn’t talked to him about it, or given him any advice.
“He’s just letting me play my baseball right now,” Ramirez said. “That’s a good thing. Maybe in the offseason we’ll talk about it and we’ll see what is going to happen.”
Ramirez himself hasn’t even thought about it, as he’s focused solely on this season.
“I just want to win,” he said. “It don’t matter. It’s not my decision. We have a front office and we have a manager. I’ll be ready to do anything next year. But we’re just concentrating on this year right now and have a good season for David and for the organization.”
|Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz gets night off because John Farrell wants to limit his workload||at 3:25 pm ET|
For the fifth time this season, David Ortiz will start the game on the bench, sitting out of the starting lineup with lefty Sean Manaea on the mound for Oakland.
Ortiz has sat out two entire games, against the Blue Jays and Braves, while pinch-hitting against the two clubs in separate occasions.
The designated hitter is 5-for-9 in his last two games, with two doubles and a pair of home runs.
“As strong a start as he’s had, personally, I lose sight that he’s 40 years old,” manager John Farrell said. “There are going to be periodic days for rest. I thought tonight was a matchup that, maybe our right-handers have a better matchup. … David’s a good matchup against anyone, [but] if you’re picking your spots, this is a day for David to be down.
Here is the Red Sox lineup with Sean O’Sullivan on the mound for the hosts:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez DH
Chris Yong LF
Josh Rutledge 3B
Travis Shaw 1B
Ryan Hanigan C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
|Closing Time: Travis Shaw, Jackie Bradley Jr. lead Red Sox in rout of Athletics||05.09.16 at 10:56 pm ET|
The 2016 Red Sox offense is really good.
Even with Clay Buchholz digging the Red Sox a 4-1 hole after the third inning, the offense was able to bail the right-hander out, highlighted by a six-run fourth inning in their 14-7 win over the Athletics.
The 14 runs were the most runs the Red Sox have scored in a game this season. The previous high was 11 on April 26.
The offensive outburst shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as the Red Sox entered the day leading the American League, averaging 5.03 runs a game.
Facing A’s ace Sonny Gray didn’t matter as the Red Sox offense scored six times in the fourth inning to turn a 4-1 deficit into a 7-4 lead. The inning was highlighted by two David Ortiz doubles and of the six runs, three were scored with two outs.
Jackie Bradley Jr. added a grand slam in the sixth inning to put the game well out of reach.
Buchholz went five innings and allowed four runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out two. He only threw 87 pitches, so he could have went back out for the sixth, but manager John Farrell evidently had seen enough.
This comes after Buchholz’s last start against the White Sox where he allowed two runs on three hits in seven innings and it appeared he had turned a corner. He allowed the lead off man to reach in three of the five innings he pitched.
In relief of Buchholz, Tommy Layne pitched a scoreless sixth, Carson Smith (his Fenway Park debut) allowed a run (unearned) in the seventh and then Heath Hembree allowed two runs in two innings to close out the win.
Offensively, Travis Shaw led the way as he went 3-for-5. The third baseman has killed right-handed pitching this season. Shaw entered the game with a .352 average against righties this season, fifth-best in the AL, to go along with a .998 OPS.
With Brock Holt’s home run in the fifth and Bradley Jr.’s grand slam, the Red Sox have homered in 10 straight games, which is the first time they’ve done so since June 5, 2012.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:
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