Bogaerts shows poise beyond his years in ALCS

Bogaerts shows poise beyond his years in ALCS
October 20, 2013, 2:15 am
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BOSTON -- Xander Bogaerts became the youngest Red Sox positional player to reach the post-season, just weeks past his 21st birthday.    

But he sure didn't look overwhelmed or out of place as the Red Sox clinched the American League pennant on Saturday night.    

"It seems like he's just unflappable,'' marveled reliever Craig Breslow. "No stage is too big. No lights are too bright."    

Getting his second straight start in the post-season, Bogaerts seemed to be involved with everything.    

Batting ninth, he came to the plate three times and reached base all three times with two walks and a double, scoring two of the five runs the Sox managed in their 5-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers.    

"In the first walk,'' said manager John Farrell, "he lays off a two-strike slider that was just off the plate.''    

In the fifth, he laced a two-out double off The Wall against Scherzer and scored the first run of the game.    

Finally, as the Sox mounted their big rally in the seventh, he fell behind Scherzer 0-and-2, then worked the count full before taking his base again.    

"I think (Detroit catcher Alex) Avila might have said something to him,'' said Farrell, "he looked at (Avila) and nodded his head, that he saw the pitch, took it and worked a walk.''    

That was the final hitter for Scherzer, who turned things over to his bullpen -- with disastrous results.    

After Drew Smyly faced Jacoby Ellsbury, who reached on an error by Jose Iglesias, Jose Veras gave up the go-ahead grand slam to Shane Victorino, with Bogaerts part of the parade that crossed the plate.    

"Just like we've gotten in reports all year from our development staff,'' said Farrell, "he's beyond his years.''    

Added David Ortiz with amazement: "That (expletive) kid is (expletive) unbelievable. Did you see that?"