Xander Bogaerts is not a failure

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Last Friday, Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy wrote that the truth is the Red Sox may not be very good. Starting Monday they won four in a row, so take that all for what it’s worth.

But he also had individual criticism for the Red Sox’ infield. Particularly the left side, which he characterized as “the Bogaerts-Middlebrooks left-side failure.”

Since then, Bogaerts has gone 11 for 30 (.367) with three doubles, three walks, three RBI and six runs scored. On the year he is now hitting .296/.388/.425. He also is 21-years-old. One far more respected Boston columnist weighed in on all of this:

Decide for yourself if Shaughnessy doesn’t actually understand how good Bogaerts is or if, alternatively, he’s merely playing the age-old game of stirring the pot and looking to make scapegoats. Whichever you decide, though, it doesn’t change the fact that he is about as wrong as can be about one of the most exciting and promising players in all of baseball.

Another young fan was struck by a foul ball, this time at Guaranteed Rate Field

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ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.

A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.

Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.

Diamondbacks clinch NL Wild Card

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Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.

The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.

The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.

The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.