BOSTON -- David Ortiz displayed excitement for his team and fans with an animated celebration after he reached third base on his game-tying triple in the ninth inning of Saturday’s 6-5 win over Houston.
After making the last out on the previous night against the same Luke Gregerson in another one-run ballgame, Big Papi actually had doubts when he came up Saturday with Xander Bogaerts waiting to be sent home.
“When I was in the on deck [circle] I kind of [felt] the pressure a little bit, for some reason,” Ortiz said. “I was the last out the night before, so I could be last out [again]. So that kind of heated me up a little bit. But then after the first pitch, I was like, ‘You know, whatever. Let me just go back to business and try to get through it.’ Because when you put pressure on yourself you just get worse, it doesn’t do anything better . . . There’s a lot of pressure in the moment, but it’s all dependent on how you handle that.”
All while Ortiz has moments of youthful exuberance and joy, he still feels like he is “the last dinosaur,” -- especially once he reached third base in the ninth.
“Man let me tell you -- it’s a long distance,” Ortiz said on running the 90 feet from second base to third.
However, he’s taken note of his teammates’ impressive play and preparation, particularly the younger stars -- Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley, Jr.
“I just like watching all of these young kids just be so mature and watching the way they handle the business is something that has been unbelievable to see,” Ortiz explained. “And [for] a guy like me, that’s really good motivation. These kids come in here, in and out everyday, and they just try to get better. It’s something that I love seeing.”
Ortiz spoke on all three, discussing mentioning Bradley’s development through struggles and Betts’ play at only 23-years-old.
But he also mentioned the conversation he had before an at-bat with an opposing catcher earlier in the week about Bogaerts.
“[The catcher] told me ‘That guy, right now, might be the best hitter in the game.’” Ortiz said, referring to Bogaerts. “He said that to me when I was walking to the plate. [Bogaerts] got a two-strike base hit through the middle and [the catcher] said that to me. So when you hear things like that, about a guy two years ago [who] tried to establish himself at this level, is dang good.”
The 20-season veteran expects Boston to find success because of those three for years to come.
“I’m super impressed with these kids,” he said. “This organization has an unbelievable future in their hands right now . . . I feel like I am with a group of veterans, it’s impressive.”