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David Ortiz finds his stroke at perfect time

Oct 24, 2013, 12:24 AM EDT

World Series Cardinals Red Sox Baseball AP

David Ortiz had one mammoth hit in the ALCS — a game-tying grand slam off Joaquin Benoit in Game 2 — but he finished just 2-for-22 for the series. Apart from the slam, he hadn’t driven in any runs in seven games.

His Game 1 of the World Series shouldn’t have started any better. With two on in the top of the first, he hit a double-play ball, only to have Matt Carpenter and Pete Kozma botch it, resulting in first one and then no outs after a John Farrell argument.

After that, it was bombs away. In the second, Ortiz hit what would have been his second grand slam in the postseason, but a lunging Carlos Beltran turned it into a sac fly, injuring himself in the process. In the fourth, he lined a single into center. And in the seventh, he got that homer, the first ever given up to a left-hander by Cardinals rookie reliever Kevin Siegrist. Left-handers hit .118 and slugged .127 against Siegrist in the regular season.

Obviously, it couldn’t have come at a better time for Boston, which went on to win 8-1. But it doesn’t make things a whole lot easier on manager John Farrell. He’s going to have to bench either Ortiz or Mike Napoli when the series shifts to Busch Stadium for Game 3. Napoli, like Ortiz, had a three-RBI game tonight, getting the scoring started with a bases-loaded double in the first. He was the Red Sox’s best hitter in the ALCS, going 6-for-20 with two homers and two doubles.

With the Cardinals throwing all right-handers, there’s no obvious play on how to share first base between Ortiz and Napoli in St. Louis. It’s expected that one will start Game 3, the other Game 4. We might not know until after Game 4 who will start Game 5, assuming there is a Game 5.

The big game tonight makes Ortiz 11-for-31 with two homers and 11 RBI in nine career World Series games. He still hasn’t lost one; the Red Sox are 9-0 in their last three World Series appearances.

  1. beefytrout - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    Choosing who to bench between Napoli or Ortiz is going to be a helluva decision.

  2. yournuts - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    i smell another sweep.

    • km9000 - Oct 24, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      Why are people so quick to predict a sweep or dismiss the losing team after the first game?

  3. ericrarey - Oct 24, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    napoli can catch, ortiz first base… not that complicated?

    • dan1111 - Oct 24, 2013 at 2:02 AM

      I agree that this idea has a certain amount of merit. However, Napoli hasn’t caught a game for Boston all season. I think it will be more important to have the starters in their comfort zone, and a brand new battery mate is not the way to do that.

      • dan1111 - Oct 24, 2013 at 2:03 AM

        That said, if Napoli doesn’t start, his ability to catch could add some pinch-hitting flexibility late in the game.

    • moogro - Oct 24, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      The squat aggravates the hip.

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