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Big Papi back to putting up big numbers

Aug 27, 2009, 12:41 PM EDT

Remember when David Ortiz was hitting just .185 with one homer through two months and people were quick to write him off as washed up? Turns out, not so much.
Ortiz went deep twice last night, including a walk-off blast that curled around Pesky Pole in the bottom of the ninth inning, and has now batted .257/.344/.566 with 21 homers, 35 total extra-base hits, and 59 RBIs in 70 games since June 1.
Here’s how those numbers stack up with the rest of the league during that time:

                  HR                        SLG                       RBI
DAVID ORTIZ       21      Kendry Morales   .612      Bobby Abreu       63
Russell Branyan   20      Miguel Cabrera   .578      DAVID ORTIZ       59
Carlos Pena       20      Adam Lind        .575      Kendry Morales    55
Kendry Morales    19      DAVID ORTIZ      .566      Russell Branyan   53
Aaron Hill        18      Hideki Matsui    .563      Juan Rivera       53

Since the calendar flipped to June, Ortiz has the league’s most homers, second-most RBIs, and fourth-highest slugging percentage. And we’re not just talking about a hot streak, as those totals are from nearly half a season’s worth of games. His overall stats remain mediocre and Ortiz obviously isn’t the MVP-caliber offensive force that he was from 2003-2007, but if the Red Sox get into the playoffs you can be certain that no one will be eager to pitch to him.
Incidentally, last night’s blast was the 10th walk-off homer of Ortiz’s career, which puts him two behind the all-time record of 12 shared by Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Frank Robinson, Stan Musial, and Jimmie Foxx. What, you were expecting Kurt Bevacqua?

  1. Danny - Aug 27, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    Check out those Angels on that list! Abreu, Morales and Rivera… :)

  2. Evan Gilchrest - Aug 27, 2009 at 2:09 PM

    “Incidentally, last night’s blast was the 10th walk-off homer of Ortiz’s career, which puts him two behind the all-time record of 12 shared by Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Frank Robinson, Stan Musial, and Jimmie Foxx. What, you were expecting Kurt Bevacqua?”
    Remember to affix the * when applying Ortiz’s name to that list. None of of those legends used PEDs.

  3. NYY Fan - Aug 27, 2009 at 3:12 PM

    We know that in the old days many of them used Performance “Diminishing” Drugs (e.g., alcohol). Look at what Mickey Mantle did despite the Performance Diminishing Drugs, and think how much better he could have been if he’d managed to refrain!

  4. Nyet - Aug 27, 2009 at 6:51 PM

    Um, Ruth did use a PED. It was called “Performance Enhancing Didn’t-have-to-play-against-people-who-weren’t-white.”

  5. Arcex - Aug 27, 2009 at 10:57 PM

    Steroids have been around since the 30’s. Methamphetamine’s were widely used by baseball players as far back as the 60’s. I’m not making excuses for a single person cheating by using steroids, but I’m more than a little tired of the automatic assumption than no one in baseball did drugs before the 90’s.

  6. Sophomore - Aug 28, 2009 at 9:12 AM

    Arcex is on the money. Amphetamines were, according to a lot of players, openly passed out in major league clubhouses during the 1970s. Also, what Nyet said.

  7. Chad - Aug 28, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    What a great point about Babe Ruth not having to play against athletes who weren’t white. Your comment is so prevelant since Babe Ruth decided the social norms for America during his time. Race is often used as an excuse or crutch, it is sad.

  8. JFunks - Aug 28, 2009 at 2:02 PM

    “PED” does not mean “steroid.” Isn’t it funny that Ortiz’ name is on the list, but they won’t say what he tested positive for? Yet A-Rod and J Grimsley did a steroid.
    I’m sure if I got tested, I’d fail since I work out and take supplements I get at GNC. Lets get over it already… release the da$ned list and lets move forward.

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