|David Ortiz reportedly finishes third in Boston mayoral race||11.08.13 at 8:45 am ET|
David Ortiz‘s popularity in Boston might be at an all-time high after he led the Red Sox to the World Series championship last month.
That is no more evident than in a report that Ortiz finished third in the Boston mayoral election Tuesday, receiving more write-in votes than anyone else. A total of 560 write-in votes were cast, according to election officials, but the number that Ortiz received was not released.
Martin Walsh won the race to succeed Thomas Menino with 72,514 votes, beating John Connolly (67,606).
|World Series media roundup: New York paper tabs David Ortiz ‘the current Mr. October’||10.31.13 at 10:46 am ET|
It would be an understatement to say that David Ortiz has been an integral piece of the Red Sox’ dominance over the last decade.
Ever since he was signed by Boston on Jan. 22, 2003, Ortiz has been part of a franchise that has collected three World Series championships. Ortiz also has collected his fair share of individual accolades, as he’s been named to the All Star Game nine times with Boston while also earning the 2004 ALCS MVP and, Wednesday night, the 2013 World Series MVP.
While Ortiz has earned the admiration of millions of Sox fans, even the New York media is beginning to give the Boston designated hitter the respect he deserves in the aftermath of Boston’s improbable run to the franchise’s eighth World Series title.
The New York Post’s Ken Davidoff penned a piece describing Ortiz as “the current Mr. October.”
Ortiz finished off his third Fall Classic with an incredible line of .688/.760/1.188. In his World Series career, Ortiz is hitting an astounding .454 (20-for-44), the best batting average for a player with over 5o plate appearances in the series.
• The New York Times’ Tyler Kepner kept up the New York sportswriters’ appreciation of the Sox organization, as he wrote an article praising the team’s quick turnaround from last place in the division in 2012 to World Series champions just a year later.
Kepner praised general manager Ben Cherington‘s moves after clearing the Sox clubhouse of players such as Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford in a 2012 deal with the Dodgers. With over $270 million saved with that blockbuster move, Cherington used the team’s financial flexibility to sign players such as Jonny Gomes, Shane Victorino, David Ross, Mike Napoli and Koji Uehara, each of whom made major contributions to the team this season.
• The Huffington Post chose to cover the celebrations going on outside of Fenway Park, as thousands of excited fans immediately rushed to the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street to revel in the Sox victory.
More fans likely will line Boylston in the coming days, as the Red Sox’ “rolling rally” parade will take place on Saturday.
|Buster Olney on M&M: ‘I don’t understand the logic’ of pitching to David Ortiz||10.30.13 at 1:55 pm ET|
ESPN’s Buster Olney joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to preview Game 6 of the World Series, and recount Game 5 as well.
The Red Sox and Cardinals meet on Wednesday at Fenway Park with Boston one game away from winning the Fall Classic after Monday’s 3-1 win. Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright opted to pitch to David Ortiz, and like he’s been doing all postseason, Ortiz made the opposition pay, this time with three hits, including an RBI double in the first inning, to up his World Series average to .733.
“This is like choosing between, do we want to let the other team give the ball to Michael Jordan or Will Perdue, right? Because Ortiz is that good, and he’s basically getting hits at the same rate that Michael Jordan hits jump shots,” Olney said, adding: “I don’t understand the logic of pitching to him.”
After St. Louis’ loss, Wainwright revealed that it was his decision, and not manager Mike Matheny’s to pitch to Ortiz.
“You understand why Matheny has trust in Wainwright,” Olney said. “But I think you have to take it out of the hands, especially when you’re talking about one of the best pitchers in the world, probably the best defensive catcher in the world, because both those guys, their instinct is, ‘We’re going to solve this problem. I’m going to find a way to get David Ortiz out.’ ”
Michael Wacha and John Lackey face off for the second time in the series on Wednesday. Wacha beat Lackey in Game 2, 4-2. In that game, the rookie threw 65 fastballs, 39 changeups and 10 curveballs. Seven of those changeups induced swinging misses, the highest number of whiffs among the three pitches, according to brooksbaseball.net.
“That, to me, is going to be the interesting adjustment, to see if the Red Sox find something where they will use that piece of information, because that was such an effective way for Wacha to pitch in the first time that he faced them,” Olney said. “That’s the pitch to me, the inside changeup, that I think you might see the Red Sox hitters stalk a little bit.”
If the Red Sox lose Game 6, they’ll likely look to Jake Peavy in Game 7, although Felix Doubront’s performance this postseason has at least made the Game 7 starter a debate.
“A week ago, Felix Doubront was basically forgotten, now he’s their second most important reliever coming in,” Olney said. “I think [Doubront] has more value coming out of the bullpen.”
Fox Sports baseball analyst Gabe Kapler joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday afternoon to talk about the World Series as the Red Sox prepare to host the Cardinals in Game 6.
Kapler, a former Red Sox outfielder, predicted the Tigers would top the Sox in the American League Championship Series. He’s going with Boston in the World Series, but he predicts it will take one more day.
“The Red Sox are going to win this series in seven,” Kapler said. “But tonight, [Michael] Wacha‘s going to be too much for the Red Sox to handle. I was breaking down his mechanics yesterday, and this is the reason that this kid is so strong and that he’s not going to falter: His shoulders have zero percent tilt. That allows him to pound the strike zone accurately and not utilize his shoulder tilt for power.
“So, on top of this crazy deceptive delivery, straight over the top, he’s also got really good lower-half and upper-half mechanics. And that’s why — even if the pressure gets to him a little bit — he still is able to maintain that focus and pound the strike zone. And I just think that he’s going to be too much for the Red Sox tonight. But I will take the Red Sox in seven.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell turned some heads by electing to start Jonny Gomes in left over Daniel Nava in Game 6. Kapler said Wacha’s changeup might have played a role in that decision.
“The reason that I think, perhaps, that John Farrell may go with Jonny Gomes over Nava is because of that equalizer changeup,” Kapler said. “Because otherwise, the weighted on-base average for Nava is so significantly better than Jonny Gomes that there’s no other reason or answer why Jonny Gomes would be in the lineup. So I think maybe that changeup equalizing the left-handed bat might be the reason that John is deciding to go with Jonny Gomes.”
David Ortiz has been an offensive force through the first five games, leading to speculation that the Cardinals will try a new approach with him.
“You have to move his feet. If you don’t throw the ball up and in tonight and get him a little bit uncomfortable, you are doing yourself a huge disservice,” Kapler said. “And I understand [Mike] Matheny‘s take, and also [Adam] Wainwright‘s take. He’s like, ‘We want to just go after these guys, we don’t want to show anybody any fear.’ But at the same time, this guy’s been so incredibly dominant. He’s reached base 15 of 20 times in the World Series. That’s unheard of. It’s not like he’s reaching base against the fourth and the fifth starters; he’s reaching base against the aces.
“This guy is as good as he was in 2004. And as we all know, he was pretty good back then.”
ESPN’s Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday and voiced his opinion on some of Red Sox manager John Farrell’s decisions this World Series, and he tried to explain why St. Louis pitched to David Ortiz in Game 5.
Farrell announced on Tuesday that, with the return of Shane Victorino to right field, Jonny Gomes would receive the start in left field over Daniel Nava in Game 6 on Wednesday at Fenway Park. Schilling said, “No, not at all,” does starting Gomes over Nava make sense to him.
“I love Daniel Nava, I think the kid is just a complete player,” Schilling said. “I think that the Gomes thing is exactly what John said — I think it’s a hunch, and he’s continuing to play it.”
Schilling also questioned Farrell’s decision-making throughout the series.
“I thought John had made some questionable moves and changes, and I thought got outmanaged a couple of different times,” Schilling said. “They’re playing poorly, but they’re good enough to play around that. I guess they’re one of the few teams that can do that.”
If not for Ortiz, the Red Sox likely would find themselves in a significantly different situation. St. Louis continues to pitch to Ortiz despite the fact he possesses a .733/750/1.267 batting line, with four extra-base hits in five games.
“The problem is that he’s so locked in, it’s very Barry Bonds-like in the sense that when he was going well, he would literally get one pitch, not an at-bat, a game, and when he got it he would never miss it. David is getting a pitch an at bat and he’s not missing it,” Schilling said.
|Ken Rosenthal on D&C: ‘I just don’t see the logic’ in St. Louis pitching to David Ortiz||at 9:47 am ET|
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to preview Game 6 of the World Series between the Red Sox and Cardinals.
The teams face off Wednesday night at Fenway Park with Boston one game away from clinching the series. Game 7 would be home as well for the Red Sox.
“I wouldn’t get worried about them getting ahead of themselves. They understand what’s going on here,” Rosenthal said. “Everybody who plays or follows baseball understands that winning a clinching game is not easy, and that the St. Louis Cardinals are awfully good, they’ve won two straight on several occasions this year. And it could happen here.”
John Lackey and Michael Wacha take the mound, and the most intriguing storyline in this matchup is how Wacha will approach the scorching David Ortiz. Boston’s DH has gone 11-for-15 (.733) in the first five games with two home runs, one coming against Wacha in Game 2. St. Louis walked him four times, just once intentionally.
“I just don’t see the logic in what the Cardinals have done here, and I would expect that it would change,” said Rosenthal. “I can’t imagine they’re going to keep going after him the way they are.”
The Cardinals faced a bit of bad luck on Tuesday when their flight to Boston was delayed for over seven hours.
“If I’m them, I’m embracing this whole back-to-the-wall thing, embracing the, ‘Look at this, we couldn’t even get our flight on time, no one believes in us,’ the typical clichéd stuff that unfortunately often works, and I go from there” Rosenthal said. “ ‘I’m the Red Sox in 2004 against the Yankees,’ in my head.”
|Wednesday’s Red Sox-Cardinals World Series Game 6 matchups: John Lackey vs. Michael Wacha||at 8:56 am ET|
On Wednesday night, John Lackey has the opportunity to go from one of the Red Sox’ most vilified, criticized players to an indelible postseason hero.
But in order to complete that transformation, he must get past the Cardinals and starter Michael Wacha on Wednesday night in Game 6 of the World Series at Fenway Park. Boston finds itself one game away from baseball’s most coveted honor, after the Sox took a 3-2 series lead with a 3-1 win in Game 5 on Monday at Busch Stadium.
In addition to his shot at a full revitalization, Lackey receives the chance to redeem a Game 2 loss against Wacha, after the rookie outdueled his elder counterpart in St. Louis’ 4-2 win.
Last Thursday, Lackey and Wacha nearly matched each other pitch-for-pitch through 5 1/3 innings. The Cardinals led 1-0, thanks to a RBI groundout by Yadier Molina in the top of the fourth inning that scored Matt Holliday, who tripled to begin the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, David Ortiz finally got to Wacha and struck with his second home run of the series, an opposite-field two-run shot that put Boston ahead 2-1.
After allowing the RBI groundout in the fourth, Lackey cruised through the next two innings, and manager John Farrell opted to send him out for the seventh. The decision looked to pay off initially as Lackey struck out Allen Craig for the first out. However, David Freese walked, Jon Jay singled, and with Lackey’s pitch count at 95, Farrell pulled him in favor of lefty reliever Craig Breslow.
St. Louis went on to score three runs in the inning and took a 4-2 lead that Boston could not overcome. Lackey ended the start with three runs allowed, five hits, two walks and six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
After the sixth inning, when he allowed the two-run home run to Ortiz, Wacha gave way to young relievers Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal, who shut the door on the Sox.
Wacha pitched six innings, allowing two earned runs, three hits and four walks with six strikeouts. He moved to 4-0 in the postseason.
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