By Bill Chuck
Special to CSNNE.com
Red Sox Nation should be really happy to get out of this weekend taking two-of-three from the Cubs after Jon Lester had an off night and the next two Sox starters were Alfredo Aceves and Tim Wakefield. It was a sloppy weekend of baseball and as far as Im concerned, once every 93 years playing the Cubs is quite sufficient for me.
So on a rainy Monday morning, I need sunshine and thats why Im thinking about David Ortiz. Baseball is filled with milestones, we love to celebrate round numbers, but I dont think we really gave enough respect and love to the fact the Big Papi now has 300 homers in a Red Sox uni.
Perhaps you dont realize that with all the greats in this teams history, only five players have gone deep 300 times for the Sox:
Ortiz has hit 358 homers in his career with the Twins and the Sox, but its hard to picture him not giving those post-homer props to those up above in anything other than in Boston garb. Right from the start, Papi had a flair for drama. His first homer for the Red Sox was against Mickey Callaway of the Angels on April 27, 2003 in the top of the 14th, the Sox won that, 6-4. And once he started going deep, he didnt stop.
Here are the Big Papi big homer seasons:
He, and we, know about his slow starts. Here are his monthly totals:
Of the 300, he has made right-hand pitchers pay 237 times, while 63 have been hit against lefties. Hes hit 136 homers when he was ahead on the count, 128 when it was an even count (including 49 on the first pitch, his favorite pitch to homer), and 36 when he was behind on the count. Hes had five 3-0 count homers and just two 0-2 count homers. Hes hit 43 homers on a full count.
Ortiz has homered off of 209 pitchers. Here are his faves:
He has pulled 156 homers to right field, hit 117 to the centerfield area, and 27 homers have gone to the opposite field.
He has homered off 25 different opponents:
With 129 dingers coming against the AL East (43).
Papi has homered in 24 ballparks, 141 at home and 159 on the road:
12US Cellular Field
Ortiz has hit 97 homers in innings 1-3, 116 homers in the 4th through 6th innings, and 87 from the 7th inning on:
His homer count by inning is obviously affected by where Ortiz was hitting in the batting order. You can see why the 2nd inning has been his least productive home run inning by noting that only 40 of his homers have been when he has hit clean-up:
His 300 homers have produced 574 RBI. He has homered in 265 different Sox games:
With 35 two-homer games (116 RBI):
But Papi has never hit three homers in a game for the Sox, but 35 times Ortiz has hit homers in two consecutive games; the last time was September 27-28, 2007. And, 12 times, Ortiz has hit homers in three consecutive games; the last time was September 23-25, 2009.
He has endured homerless streaks and weve suffered with him:
But when he hits homers, he has a huge smile and we smile as well. Of his homers, 117 have put the Sox ahead in the game and 25 have tied the score.
These 300 homers, of course, dont include his 12 postseason homers, but they do include his walkoffs. Ortiz has 10 walkoff homers in his career. Ironically, his last homer for the Twins was a walkoff homer and there have been nine moments of unabashed joy as David Ortiz bashed a walkoff homer:
Down 4-2b9232006-06-24PHITom Gordon
Well there you have it, a little sunshine on a rainy Monday morning. And if you want a little more, heres a great David Ortiz video that I posted on my daily national baseball column at Billy-Ball.com.
Thanks Big Papi, for 300 blasts (with many more to come).
Nation STATion uses www.Baseball-Reference.com for statistical support.