BY: Jeff Schneberk
If the Boston Red Sox wind up winning the 2013 World Series, it will be to a great extent because of the work of 1st Baseman David Ortiz.
It could happen as early as tomorrow, or by Hallowe’en night.
Would that be creepy? The World Series Game 7 on Hallowe’en night in Beantown??!?
Gets me going just thinkin’ about it!
So far, through 5 games of crazy baseball (the endings in both Games 3 and 4), the Boston batting order has a pretty dismal batting average of .205. What’s interesting is that Ortiz has one-third of the team’s 33 hits.
He has reached the base a record nine times in World Series play. Here he is from last night:
He finished last night’s Game 5 at Busch Stadium with a ¾ performance at the plate with one of those hits being an RBI.
Teammate Jon Lester pitched 7 2/3 strong innings to help the Red Sox beat the Cardinals 3-1 in Game 5 and pull within one win of another World Series title.
Ortiz became the third player to reach base safely in nine straight plate appearances in the World Series, joining Joe Gordon (1939/1941 Yankees) and Billy Hatcher (1990 Reds). Ortiz and Hatcher are the only two to do so in a single World Series.
Ortiz has 11 hits, two shy of the record for most in a World Series, which is shared by Bobby Richardson (1964 Yankees), Lou Brock (1968 Cardinals) and former Red Sox second baseman Marty Barrett (1986 Red Sox).
The real interesting part of last night’s game was some of the post-game.
Catcher David Ross talking to reporters about everything that went right; obviously Ortiz’s name came up in about 2 seconds flat.
With Ortiz being 11 for 15 at the plate in this World Series and staking claim to the MVP honours by most critics, he is leaving his own teammates and supporters in awe with just about every at-bat.
They know he is the best.
And they know him the best, too!
“Speaking of David Ortiz, what planet is that guy from?” said David Ross.
As a catcher, Ross watched his St. Louis counterpart, Yadier Molina, try to outwit Ortiz from behind the plate with very little success. Ross empathized with the tough, near impossible task, handed Molina.
“I’m watching what Yadi is doing,” said Ross. “And they’ve tried a lot. David’s just, he’s just, he’s David Ortiz. That says enough. The guy is a postseason stud and a stud in general . . . That’s why we call him ‘Cooperstown’ because he does Hall of Fame stuff.”
This is the first time I have ever heard a current-day MLB player be referred to as the hometown of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Ortiz didn’t see anything all that special in his World Series numbers, his key hits mixed with more than competent fielding at Busch Stadium.
When asked if he remembered another five-game span like the one he has enjoyed against the Cardinals, Ortiz said, “I did it like 20 times this year . . . I was born for this.”
John Lackey gets the first chance to win it Wednesday night against St. Louis rookie sensation Michael Wacha.
A Cardinals victory would set up a most spooky proposition for both teams — Game 7 on Halloween night.