By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Michael Chavis knew exactly what he had to do when he stepped up to the plate in the 10th inning Wednesday night against the Rockies. But after he delivered the first walk-off of his young career, he was a little lost.
Chavis was the hero of Wednesday night’s much-needed extra innings win for Boston, smacking an RBI single with two on and no outs to lift the Red Sox to a 6-5 victory. For a second, he thought that maybe Alex Cora would call for a sac bunt to advance Xander Bogaerts from second. While he’s shown plenty of pop with his bat, Chavis is still finding himself in the majors. Being the No. 7 hitter in the lineup, he was ready to put down a bunt as he stepped to the plate.
But the Boston skipper wasn’t about to sacrifice one of his hottest bats in the lineup. Instead, Chavis choped the first pitch he saw into center, easily plating Bogaerts for the win.
“Got a good pitch to hit, a first-pitch cutter and didn’t try to do too much. One of the other things I was thinking was a single scores him. Don’t try and be a superhero and hit a home run or anything like that,” he said. “Just need one.”
The 23-year-old has shown over his first 22 major league games that he knows what to do at the plate. But Wednesday night proved to be another important learning experience for Boston’s promising young star.
“I hit first base and — I’ve had a couple walk-offs, it’s not like it’s something I’ve never done before. And I kind of just forgot what to do honestly,” Chavis admitted. “I had my helmet, I was like, ‘Do I throw it? Do I keep it? Do I hand it to somebody? I don’t know.'”
Seeing Chavis was on a bit of an island, Mookie Betts bailed him out.
“I turned, got tackled by Mookie, gave him a hug. So that was great, honestly. I’m a big hugger,” he said, “I get that from my mom.”
It’s clear that Chavis is still a giddy rookie finding his way in the majors, but his enthusiasm and zest is infectious in the clubhouse. He’s also showing that he belongs in the big leagues, following up a recent five-game hitless streak by going 7-for-15 over his last three games. Overall, he’s slashing 296/.406/.580 with seven homers and 21 RBIs in his 81 MLB at-bats, providing a much-needed boost to a Boston offense that struggled at the start of the season.
So, yeah, don’t expect to receive that bunt sign anytime soon, kid, especially not with a chance to win the game. He’s proven that he can come through in the clutch, and after feeling all the euphoria that came with Wednesday night’s win, he can’t wait to find himself in that situation again.
“I think that’s what every kid dreams about, honestly. In my minor league career, I’ve had a decent amount of success in those kind of scenarios, so when this kind of situation comes up, it’s definitely one of those times when I want to be the person hitting,” he said. Definitely.”
And next time, he’ll know what to do after rounding first.