'What We Learned': Red Sox' 9-0 win over the Dodgers
By Nick Friar
Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox’ 9-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers . . .
1) This year continues to be powered by unlikely heroes
There’s no question the Red Sox have had a strong year from their perennial players -- David Ortiz and Xander Bogaerts to name a few.
But players like Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Rick Porcello have emerged after starting their careers in Boston in disappointing fashion.
However, no two players have served as more of a surprise this season as Steven Wright and Sandy Leon. And the two stole the show Friday in true Hollywood fashion.
Wright had his best outing of the season after just finishing off his worst month of the year.
Clearly Wright -- like any other pitcher -- went through his own rough patch, but hasn’t let that faze him.
Leon -- who’s story might be even more remarkable than Wright’s -- had his second four RBI game of the season -- and his career.
This of course comes after starting the season in the minors and coming up because of an injury.
“He’s extremely confident right now,” John Farrell said on his catcher. “To see how he’s emerged given the injuries behind the plate . . . Sandy’s stepped in and really taken over behind the plate.
2) David Ortiz is ready to give first a shot
David Ortiz is expected to start Saturday at first base -- something he’s avoided like the plague all year.
And understandably so.
Papi not playing first goes hand in hand with why there is no way he’d return for one more season.
He flat out can’t handle it.
While it’s good and well that Ortiz is adamant about playing first base against the Dodgers, it’s not the best thing for Boston.
Having his bat in one game -- against a Clayton Kershaw-less LA team -- isn’t worth risking his availability in ensuing homestand.
Now Ortiz won’t play the Sunday game most likely and has the day off Monday, which will help greatly.
But you never know what can happen.
Ortiz is a competitor at the end of the day. He may not lay out for a ball, but if he needs to run quickly to first base, there’s no telling what can happen.
Boston is better off just giving him reps until they’d absolutely need him in the field -- the World Series (assuming they get there).
3) Ryan Hanigan is injured again
Boston’s back-up catcher was pulled from Thursday night’s game due to some discomfort in his left ankle.
Well the Red Sox responded to that by claiming Bryan Holaday off waivers from Texas.
The abrupt move wasn’t just a knee-jerk move either. The Red Sox announced after the game that Hanigan has left ankle peroneal tendonitis.
The peroneal tendon runs along the fibula and could create issue for Hanigan catching -- and not just in the near future.
Hanigan will serve more as a clubhouse loss -- although he should still be around the team generally. But his offensive numbers (.158/.216/.221) have hamstrung the team when he’s played.
This means more playing time for Sandy Leon, especially since he handled Steven Wright well in Friday’s start -- and Holaday doesn’t have good numbers either.
Christian Vazquez should return in September and split time -- but there’s no reason to take away his regular at-bats in the minors right now.