Ortiz brings back the walk-off at Fenway

Ortiz brings back the walk-off at Fenway
June 7, 2013, 1:00 am
Share This Post

BOSTON – It had been almost four years since Fenway Park experienced a David Ortiz-sponsored celebration as it saw Thursday night in the season-series finale against the Rangers.
Ortiz’s 11th home run  came on the first pitch he saw from left-hander Michael Kirkman in the ninth inning, with Jonny Gomes on second and Dustin Pedroia on first after an intentional walk. The blast gave the Red Sox a 6-3 victory.
Walking Pedroia to get to Ortiz was not a move the Sox slugger was expecting.
“Not at all, nope,” he said. “You don’t wake up a monster like that.”
Still, he understood the Rangers’ strategy, and didn’t take offense to the move.
“No, no, no, not at all,” he said. “That’s part of the game. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”
"David, some many times in his career, he's produced,” said manager John Farrell. “We had a couple of opportunities and we were finally able to cash in.
"I don't know if guys take it as an additional challenge [after an intentional walk]. I do know that David's come up in that situation many times in his career. Today, as we're concerned, one of the more exciting times in the season.”
Ortiz has come to the plate 41 times after the batter ahead of him had been walked. This was the first time he has hit a home run.  It was his 11th career walk-off homer, and 10th with the Red Sox, but just his  first since Aug. 26, 2009, against the White Sox.
“Well, they don’t like to mess with Papi late in the game. They stopped doing that,” Ortiz said. “This might be the first time I got pitched late in the game in that kind of a situation. Most of the time I get a walk or something else happened. So I just took my patience.”
This time he was just looking for a pitch he could drive. He got one, a fastball from Kirkman, which he drove into the Rangers bullpen.
“They were pounding me in all night,” He said. “Keep on missing pitches, but I was sticking with my plan.”
Gomes was on second base after a leadoff, first-pitch double.
“Every time he swings you think it’s gone, coming off his bat,” Gomes said. “But he knows all his clubs pretty well and when he’s not hopping out of the box it’s a good chance of going over the fence.
“He’s got a niche for it ... He has the ability to get the job done. Sometimes you need a homer. It’s hard enough to hit a homer, and hit a homer almost at will. He’s an unbelievable hitter. He’s seen some struggles of late, of other teams guys struggling in the DH role, and it’s definitely not an easy role. And he’s definitely the ambassador of the role, and he’s not done  yet. We still got him.”
Ortiz had a good idea it was out, which makes the ensuing moments easier.
“You don’t have to haul [out]” he said. “Just pimp around and pimp it out.”
And, rounding the bases, he had a good idea of what would be waiting for him at the plate.
“Just thinking about the [butt] beating that is waiting for me at the plate,” he said. “You don’t feel anything at the time but, what happened is when you wake up you’re all beat up. But it’s good though. That’ means you won the game, that means something good happened, and you’re definitely going to stick with.”