I’ve made some pretty regrettable decisions in my life, but I don’t think I’ve ever made a decision as regrettable as the Minnesota Twins when they released David Ortiz on December 16, 2002.
Last night, Ortiz hit the everliving shit out of his 24th home run, a 440-foot bomb that was measured as his second longest home run of 2016. What can you even say about what this guy is doing that hasn’t already been said? The debate’s over. This is the best final season ever that you’re watching, so just shut up and enjoy it. Stop talking about whether or not he’s coming back next year, because he’s not. You’ve got a little more than two months of David Ortiz promised to you, and hopefully a bonus month in October.
After that, all we’ll have is YouTube highlight videos, so enjoy him while you still can. Put down your Snapchat and your iPhone cameras, and just watch him. 50 years from now, you’ll be able to say that you witnessed David Ortiz hit in a Red Sox uniform with your own two eyes, and Red Sox fans of the future won’t believe you. Time’s almost up. Appreciate him while you’ve still got him.
Steven Wright was Steven Wright in this one, but how excited can you really get when your best pitcher carves up the worst team in the league? If this were MVP ’05, you’d sim this game because who really gets excited over dominating a shitty team? I can’t get amped up for the Minnesota Twins. Really can’t. Nevertheless, Wright had been struggling over his last four starts (6.23 ERA), so this was a nice little get back on track start for him. Wright went 8 innings, and only allowed one earned run, while striking out nine. The nine punchouts for Wright were a career high, and that was the fifth time that Wright has given the Red Sox at least 8 innings in a start this year.
The Red Sox offense poured it on in this bloodbath, and it all started with Mookie Betts hitting a leadoff home run on the first pitch he saw. Since the second game of a doubleheader on May 18, Betts is hitting .345 with a .983 OPS. His batting average over that span is tied for fourth best in the MLB, and his 3-hit night against the Twins marked his major league leading 42nd multi-hit game. Entering play on Friday, Betts has the fifth highest WAR for position players in the MLB (4.7), trailing only Mike Trout, Josh Donaldson, Jose Altuve, and Kris Bryant. He’s also second to Altuve for the major league lead in hits (126).
Speaking of hits, Dustin Pedroia had five of those last night. He went 5-for-5 with three runs scored, and became the first Red Sox player to go 5-for-5 since…Dustin Pedroia. That game, if you remember, was the game that he hit three home runs in Colorado, and then fouled a ball off his left foot the very next night, broke a bone in his foot, was out of action for about a month, played two games in August, and then was out for the rest of the season after that. But we won’t talk about that. Since May 24, Pedroia’s hitting .314 with an .818 OPS.
Xander Bogaerts had a three-hit night himself, which he so desperately needed. Bogaerts had been hitting .173 with a .586 OPS in the month of July up until the series finale against the Giants on Wednesday. He had two hits in that game, and followed that up with a 3-for-4 performance on Thursday. Jackie Bradley Jr. also went deep in this one, and we can no longer say that his stats are inflated because of his 29-game hit streak from earlier in the year. Since June 28, Bradley’s hitting .303 with an .823 OPS. He had been hitting .206 with an .800 OPS in the 27 games leading up to June 28 since his hitting streak ended.
Final score: Red Sox 13, Twins 2