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.
Hanley Ramirez was a complete failure in left field this season in Boston and he batted just .249/.291/.426 while appearing in only 105 games. Ben Cherington, the man that signed him to a four-year, $88 million free agent contract, is no longer with the Red Sox. It’s time for some tough love …
Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo, who just inked a two-year extension to return as John Farrell’s bench coach, told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald on Sunday that Hanley has been asked to drop 15-20 pounds over the offseason. There have been similar conversations with Boston’s other free agent failure, Pablo Sandoval.
Ramirez is expected to start at first base for the Red Sox in 2016.
Clayton Kershaw entered Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Padres needing six strikeouts to become the first pitcher in 13 years to whiff 300 batters in a single season.
He did it within the first nine batters of the game, whiffing Yangervis Solarte, Clint Barmes, Austin Hedges, and Travis Jankowski once each and Melvin Upton Jr. on two different occasions.
Here was the milestone matchup against Upton Jr. with two outs in the top of the third …
The last pitchers to reach 300 strikeouts in a season were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They did so as teammates on the 2002 Diamondbacks.
Kershaw is lined up to face the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS.