Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz hit his first triple of the season Sunday in Boston’s 5-0 victory over the Blue Jays, driving a Shaun Marcum pitch into the tricky left-center field gap at Fenway Park.
The annual Big Papi triple has become a sort of tradition for Red Sox fans and the beat writers who cover them. He has managed at least one three-bagger per season since 2000, when he was a member of the Twins.
No matter what you might think about “Red Sox Nation” and Big Papi as a personality, it’s always pretty great to see those big legs trucking around the basepaths.
As Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal points out, Ortiz is one of only three American League players to have a triple in each of the last 11 seasons and the Red Sox have won eight of the 10 games in which he has accomplished the feat.
Ortiz is batting .267 with a healthy .919 OPS, 27 homers, 27 doubles and 79 RBI over 393 at-bats this season. Sunday’s single and triple raised his slugging percentage a whole five points, from .542 to .547.
The Red Sox are 6.5 games back of the Yankees in the American League East and 5.5 games behind the Rays in the hunt for the AL’s Wild Card.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.