BOSTON (CBS) — The only question surrounding David Ortiz entering Game 5 of the World Series was whether or not he would even see one strike all night long.
That question was answered pretty quickly, as Ortiz hit an RBI double down the first base line on the very first pitch he saw in the first inning.
The Cardinals continued to pitch to Ortiz, and he made them pay, finishing the night 3-for-4, with his only out coming on a line drive that traveled about 360 feet to center field on a line.
With the Game 5 performance, Ortiz improved his World Series batting average to .733. His on-base percentage is .789, his OPS is 2.017, and mind you, this is all despite his would-be grand slam in Game 1 getting taken away by an amazing catch by Carlos Beltran. Ortiz is simply on the type of postseason hot streak that few players in the game’s history have ever experienced.
His RBI gave him 14 in his World Series career, putting him one ahead of teammate Mike Napoli for the lead among active players. He tied the all-time World Series record by reaching base safely in nine consecutive plate appearances from Game 3 through Game 5, and he became just the fourth player ever to reach base three times in four consecutive World Series games, joining a list with Barry Bonds, Pete Rose and Johnny Lindell.
Ortiz is now hitting .326 in the postseason with a .458 on-base percentage and a 1.153 OPS. He’s hit five homers and driven in 12 runs, drawing 12 walks and striking out just six times. His teammates have started referring to him as “Cooperstown” in an effort to campaign for the DH’s Hall of Fame chances, but that’s a debate that won’t be settled for years. For now, Ortiz has a chance with his otherworldly performance to earn himself a nickname that can’t be argued: three-time World Series champion.
“This game it’s not that easy, you know?” said Jonny Gomes. “The crowd was chanting ‘Get Ortiz out.’ This is the World Series, man. That’s something pretty special.”
When the series shifted to St. Louis for the middle three games of the series, a major story line centered on Ortiz and the question of whether he’d be able to handle himself in the field and if that added workload would adversely affect his offense. With a 7-for-9 showing and new appearances in all sorts of record books, Ortiz answered those questions rather convincingly.
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