Bradley's three-run bomb helps lift Sox

Bradley's three-run bomb helps lift Sox
September 22, 2013, 6:45 pm
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BOSTON – After opening many eyes in spring training, Jackie Bradley began the season on the major league roster. Barring anything unforeseen, he will end the season on the big league roster, too. In between, though, it’s been a bit of an up-and-down season for Bradley – up and down between Boston and Triple-A Pawtucket.
Bradley made the trip between the big leagues and Triple-A four times this season. Entering Sunday’s game, he was hitting just .186 with a .278 on-base percentage and .314 slugging percentage.
Bradley was in the starting lineup for the finale of the home schedule against the Blue Jays and R.A. Dickey. Bradley had faced the Toronto knuckleballer earlier this season, going hitless in two at-bats.
In his first at-bat Sunday, with the game tied, Bradley wasted little time, jumping on a 1-and-0 offering, driving it into the bleachers behind the Blue Jays’ bullpen for a three-run home run, giving the Red Sox a lead they would not relinquish.
Bradley, though, wasn’t convinced his drive had enough on it.
“No, I actually didn’t,” he said. “When it went in the air, I was like ‘Oh, man, please keep going.’ I think it got in on me a little bit, but I just got enough of it.”
This season has been one of learning to make adjustments for Bradley, the Sox first-round pick (40th overall) in 2011.
“There’s no question about that,” said manager John Farrell. “A young player coming up one time or in his case three times, is a tremendous learning experience. The three-run homer puts us ahead to stay. The challenges he’s faced and major league pitching he’s gone up against is invaluable. Our view of him long term has not changed one bit.”
He has appeared in 33 big-league games this season.
“I’m learning, that’s the main thing,” Bradley said. “I feel like I’m getting better, whether it’s mentally or physically.”
The most valuable lesson he’s learned?
“Just be professional every single day,” he said. “Be ready to play. Come in, if you’re not in the starting lineup, just come in and be able to help out any way you can. It’s been great to be able to see the team win anyway no matter who’s in the lineup.”
The jump to the major leagues was not overwhelming for Bradley.
“It’s the same, you got to kind of keep it in perspective,” he said. “I feel like it’s the same thing. I feel like you just got more technology you can use up here to visually see things and see swing paths and see what the hitters or pitchers do very well.”
Maybe too much at times.
“Yeah, you can be very conscious of it and you try to overthink things,” he said. “And that can also hurt you a little bit.”