Ellsbury adds to MVP-worthy resume in Game 2

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Ellsbury adds to MVP-worthy resume in Game 2

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

NEW YORK -- It's likely that it's too late to change voters' minds, but Jacoby Ellsbury made a nice last-minute push for himself for American League MVP Sunday night.

Hours after hitting two homers in the afternoon game, a loss, and becoming the first Red Sox player to have 30 steals and 30 homers in the same season, Ellsbury launched a three-run homer to right-center to give the Red Sox a pulsing 7-4, 14-inning win over the Yankees.

"I don't care who hit it," said Terry Francona, "but it's kind of fitting (that it was Ellsbury)."

Of the nine runs the Red Sox scored in the two games Sunday, five came as the result of homers by Ellsbury.

Over the last 37 games, Ellsbury has hit safely in 35 of them, during which he's hit .348. In those 37 games, he's hit 11 homers and 29 RBI.

"With runners on first and second and two outs," said Ellsbury, "Yankee pitcher Scott Proctor threw me a first-pitch breaking ball and I was sitting on a fastball. Fortunately, he threw something over the plate and I was able to drive it out."

Asked to put his day in context, Ellsbury remarked that he didn't have time to think too much about what he accomplished in the first game, including becoming just the seventh player in history to steal 30, hit 30 homers, score 100 runs, knock in 100 and collect 200 hits.

"I didn't have time to think about it after the first game," he said. "It was a quick turnaround. Hopefully, I'll have the time to reflect on it at some point."

Ellsbury has been mentioned as a possible AL MVP candidate along with teammate Adrian Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano of the Yankees, and Detroit's Justin Verlander, with Verlander seen as the prohibtive favorite.

But days like Sunday can't hurt Ellsbury's chances.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

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Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.