Are you guys tired of listening to me bitch and moan about the 2015 Boston Red Sox? Well, worry not, loyal readers, this isn’t one of those posts!
In the bottom of the 4th inning in a meaningless game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park today, Xander Bogaerts worked some serious magic. Okay, it was with the help of the Fightin’ Phils’ second baseman Cesar Hernandez.
Already leading 3-0, Bogaerts came to the plate with the bases drunk and two outs. It had already been a wild inning, with Alec Asher committing two balks. The first was due to starting his motion and then coming full stop before starting again. Honestly, I felt it was barely a balk, as he’d hardly bent his head forward, but I digress.
Back to Bogaerts. “X” slashed an 0-1 hanging curve the opposite way to plop a double in the right field corner, close to the Pesky Pole. Aaron Altherr scooped it up off the bounce and fired into Hernandez, who promptly decided he was playing dodgeball with Carlos Ruiz, plunking him and allowing the ball to get away. Xander quickly and astutely read the play, bolting in from third to score on a pretty close play. That slide and tag-avoidance breast stroke are a thing of beauty. I yelled with joy, in a way I’ve rarely done this season. Interestingly enough, it seems that 90% of the times I do get to burst out in elation, it’s due to the young guns – Mookie Betts, Xander The Mander, Blake Swihart, Jackie Bradley Jr. – playing with a desire that instills hope for the near future.
Unless, of course, it’s David Ortiz clubbing his way to career homer 500; then I get to cheer, too. With his Pesky Pole-clearing dinger today, he has 496. More importantly, it was his 30th on the year, giving him nine seasons with 30 or more homers with the Sox. Ted Williams just lost ownership of a club record – he had eight seasons 30+.
Even weirder? The starting pitching gave us a day off from clenched sphincters. Wade Miley actually collected his first career complete game. It is just the second complete game for Sox’ starters this season; Clay Buchholz has the other.