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BOSTON (CBS) – Here are a few thoughts I had following the Red Sox’ 7-4 Game 2 ALDS win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway.
– It’s hard to believe that David Ortiz, who John Henry called “the most clutch hitter in Red Sox postseason history,” hit two home runs for the first time in his career. It seems like he would have done that before with all the big hits he’s had.
– According to teammates, Ortiz predicted he would hit two home runs in on Saturday night. David Ross said he couldn’t repeat Ortiz’s exact words, but you can imagine what came out of Big Papi’s mouth. But whatever he said, it doesn’t matter — he delivered.
READ: More From Dan Roche
–David Price wasn’t too happy with how long Ortiz watched his second home run, which I find pretty funny for a few reasons. Ortiz ALWAYS watches every home run he hits and has upset opposing pitchers before (doesn’t mean David isn’t at fault here. It’s your opinion on how you feel about it). Ortiz also has a great deal of respect for Price as a pitcher and how tough he is. Ortiz said after the game the ball was tough to judge if it was actually fair, and I agree with David on that one. Also, Price gave up seven runs, and that’s not the time to be saying anything about anyone. Just take it and keep on fighting, like you know they will.
– That was some clutch bullpen work by Breslow, Tazawa, and Uehara. The trio tossed 3.2 scoreless innings and allowed just three baserunners. Both Breslow and Tazawa got HUGE double plays to end the seventh and eighth, respectively, and Uehara recorded his first career postseason save on just 11 pithes — all strikes.
– Watching Pedroia and Drew turn those double plays was pretty special. Perfect execution to get out of trouble each time.
– I have a ton of respect for Joe Maddon and the Rays. They’re a team that doesn’t stop battling and grind everything out. Just like the Sox.
– With that said, it’s pretty clear to me that this Sox team is simply better than Tampa — and not just on paper.
– And, I don’t think most fans in New England and beyond have any idea how good this team is. There is still a long way to go to the ultimate goal, but these Sox have a unique confidence about them that I’ve never seen on a Red Sox team. It’s just different. That doesn’t mean they’ll win it all, but I just find it interesting (and a lot of fun) to be around this team.
Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on Twitter @RochieWBZ.
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