Consider these two seasons:Gordon Edes, ESPNBoston:
128 Games, 509 PAs: .288/.369/.592, 31 HR, 72 XBH, 101 RBI, 144 OPS+ 137 Games, 600 PAs: .309/.395/.564, 30 HR, 70 XBH, 103 RBI, 160 OPS+Not much of a contest between which player a team would rather have, right?
The first season was Ortiz in 2003 ... The second season was Ortiz in the regular season this year ...
Start with the red suede shoes. The matching red belt. Red tie on black shirt. Black jacket. Diamond studs.Richard Justice, MLB.com:
David Ortiz dressed with a purpose Saturday night, one he shared with Red Sox catcher David Ross when he arrived at Fenway Park earlier in the day for Game 2 of the American League Division Series.
"He came in and told me, 'I wore my 'A' game today, because I'm going to be doing interviews after the game,'" Ross said. "He wore his best clothes. Only Papi can do that."
Actually, Ortiz took it a step further. He predicted ahead of time why people would be clamoring to talk to him.
"He told some guys before the game he was going to hit two home runs and he did," Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks said. "That's pretty impressive. A couple of us heard him say it. Rossie and I looked at each other [afterward]. 'He said he was going to do that, didn't he?'"
For Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes, it's pretty simple what Jacoby Ellsbury brings to the Red Sox.Steve Buckley, Herald:
"A lot of teams have their five-tool players hitting three or four," he said. "We've got a five-tool player hitting one." ...
Afterward, the guys behind Ellsbury in the lineup, especially Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia, said his mere presence on the bases forces pitchers to throw more fastballs to give their catcher a better chance of throwing him out.
That strategy didn't work much in 2013 since Ellsbury led the American League with 52 stolen bases and also a 92.9 percent success rate. He's the first player to lead his league in both steals and stolen-base percentage since Tim Raines in 1981.
He's a tremendous weapon for the Red Sox. In a season in which he had 31 doubles, eight triples, nine home runs and a .355 on-base percentage, Fangraphs.com gives him a Wins Above Replacement number of 5.8, eighth-best in the American League among position players. Also according to Fangraphs.com, he saved 13 defensive runs, second among all American League center fielders.
The Red Sox continue to do everything right. ...Tony Lee, ESPNBoston:
The Red Sox received only so-so pitching from Lackey, but they scored seven runs off Rays lefty David Price, including two home runs by David Ortiz, and second baseman Dustin Pedroia started a sparkling double play to snuff out a Tampa Bay threat in the seventh.
"I think we got out-Fenwayed tonight," lamented Rays manager Joe Maddon, the suggestion being that the old ballpark's many quirks had helped the Red Sox to some of their runs. That may be true in the grand scheme, but there was nothing Fenway about those two bombs Ortiz hit, and nothing Fenway about Pedroia's crisp play at second. Sorry, Joe.
And to think a lot of New Englanders were worried about the Rays. ... [T]hese two teams don't even belong on the same field.
And by the time Uehara entered, victory and a 2-0 series lead was a mere formality. Uehara threw six straight strikes to fan the first two hitters and got ahead 0-2 on Wil Myers before inducing a grounder to first to end it.Pitch f/x porn:
The roar grew louder with each pitch thrown by Uehara, reaching deafening levels after the second strikeout. Scribes in the press box were seen shaking their heads at the futility of the Rays hitters.
"Man, how loud was that? That was amazing. It was so much fun," catcher David Ross said. "I just wanted to look up in the stands and take that all in for a minute. This crowd. The first strikeout was loud, the second strikeout was loudest I've ever heard. It was rocking. I don't know how Koji was catching his emotions. ... Throws his heater, he paints it. Throws the splitter, it just disappears."
This is Koji Uehara's ninth inning in Game 2. All 11 pitches were strikes (yet nothing in the middle of the plate); Brooks doesn't even list "balls" in the legend!
Jerry Crasnick, ESPN:
"The one word that we've continually tried to drive home is the word 'relentless,'" Farrell said Saturday. "And I think that's played out whether it's in a given game, a given series or over the course of the season. Our guys love the attention to detail."
The Red Sox also love grinding opposing teams into submission, and have a greedy side to them that never leaves them satisfied. That communal mindset has left them nine innings and another workmanlike performance away from taking the next step toward their ultimate goal. ...
Media eye-rolling typically ensues when baseball players talk about "total team efforts" and hitters picking up teammates who failed to produce in the spot before them in the lineup. But the Red Sox are living the concept every day. ...
Next on Boston's hit list: Alex Cobb, who's been stellar with a 5-1 record and a 2.41 ERA since the All-Star Game.