BOSTON -- The postseason has already had its share heroics from players you might not expect and disappointing appearances from big-time stars.
Two players in the Red Sox series that instantly come to mind are Cleveland’s Lonnie Chisenhall on the plus side and Boston’s David Price on the minus. Prior to the rainout of ALDS Game 3 Sunday, John Farrell was asked about what it takes to be the player who has a great game or moment.
“You know, a lot of times I think it's going to depend on how many opportunities a given player has had in the postseason,” he explained. “We've got guys in our clubhouse that there's been ample opportunities, whether it's David [Ortiz] who's been an elite postseason performer. I think Dustin Pedroia has been a very strong performer in his own right.”
He was asked if some players aren’t “wired” to perform in the tight postseason situations, a question almost directly aimed at Price and his inability to earn a postseason win as a starting pitcher.
“I look at it like this, there are certain players, certain people, this might address some of the wired aspect that you mentioned, you know, the highly intelligent, conscientious guys, they're aware of their surroundings. They're aware of things that are at play.” Farrell told reporters. “And because of that, if there's an effort on their part to try to do more or try to be better than what they've shown, does that take them out of their game? All in all it's the player that doesn't allow his heart rate to elevate and can stay mindful in the moment. They're typically the ones that have maintained maybe an elite level of performance in key spots.”
Too young to know any better
Andrew Benintendi started of his postseason career with a bang, becoming the youngest player in franchise history to leave the yard in the playoffs.
But that’s not the only impressive play Benintendi’s has had since getting called up at midseason.
In fact, he has too many to count in one sitting. So many that it’s gotten to the point that there’s a set of expectations established when he’s at-bat or making a play.
“He’s extremely poised,” Farrell said. “For a guy that 16 months ago he was on the University of Arkansas campus, it's pretty remarkable.
Farrell went so far to make the claim that Benintendi is a player he not only expects to play well from season-to-season for years to come, but can be an impact player in the postseason, too.
“They're in the Major League postseason and much like we talked about what makes a guy wired to perform in postseason, he's calm, even before the postseason started he's been a guy that's never really panicked, even when he's been in a disadvantaged count at the plate,” Farrell said. “It's almost like you watch, his athletic movements are graceful. It's almost like a window into what his mind is going through. It's even, it's under control, and he plays like that.”
Benintendi’s lone mistake in the first two games was allowing Roberto Perez to advance from first to second on a fly ball to left. But he made it pretty clear on the next ball hit to him that nothing like that will happen again.