Nation STATion: The David Ortiz 300

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Nation STATion: The David Ortiz 300

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:

Player
HR
From
To
G
Ted Williams
521
1939
1960
2292
Carl Yastrzemski
45219611983
3308
Jim Rice
38219741989
2089
Dwight Evans
379197219902505David Ortiz
300200320111184
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:

YearHR200654
20054720044120073520103220033120092820082320119

He, and we, know about his slow starts. Here are his monthly totals:

YearHR200654200547200441200735201032200331
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:

Roy Halladay
6
Seth McClung
4Matt Garza
4Gil Meche
4Josh Towers
4Kevin Milwood
4Scot Shields
3Pat Hentgen
3A.J. Burnett
3Ramon Ortiz
3Javier Vazquez
3Jeremy Guthrie
3James Shields
3Jon Lieber
3Dan haren
3Mike Mussina
3Joel Pineiro
3Ryan Franklin
3
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:

TOR37
TBR33NYY31BAL28ANA22TEX21SEA18CHW16DET15OAK14CLE11MIN10KCR9ATL7PHI5FLA5MIL4CHC3ARI2SFG2LAD2WSN2COL1STL1NYM1
With 129 dingers coming against the AL East (43).

Papi has homered in 24 ballparks, 141 at home and 159 on the road:

Park
Fenway Park
141Sky Dome
24Tropicana Field
20Yankee Stadium
15Camden Yards
13Rangers Ballpark
12US Cellular Field
10Comerica Park
10Safeco Field
9Angel Stadium
7Turner Field
6Network Assoc
6Jacobs Field
5Yankee Stadium
4Kauffman Stadium
4Dolphon Stadium
3AT&T Park
2Citizens Park
2Wrigley Field
2Miller Park
1Metrodome1Nationals Park
1Busch Stadium
1Coors Field
1
Ortiz has hit 97 homers in innings 1-3, 116 homers in the 4th through 6th innings, and 87 from the 7th inning on:

Inning
150218329442540634730829921107
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:

OrderHR3rd
1905th504th406th167th38th1
His 300 homers have produced 574 RBI. He has homered in 265 different Sox games:

Year Games
20032520043820053820064820073120082020092720102920119
With 35 two-homer games (116 RBI):

Year Games
2005920066200362007420083201032004320091
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:

Streak Start
End
Games
AB
2008-09-192009-05-19
381452011-04-03
2011-05-0124822008-08-162008-09-0619682007-05-102007-06-0319692009-09-292010-09-0516602010-08-202010-09-051560
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:

DateOppPitcher
Score
Inn
Out
RBI
2003-09-23BAL
Kurt Ainsworth
Tied 5-5
b10
0
1
2004-04-11TOR
Aquilino Lopez
Tied 4-4
b12
0
2
2005-06-02
BAL
B.J. Ryan
Down 4-3
b9
2
3
2005-09-06LAA
Scot Shields
Tied 2-2
b9
1
1
2006-06-11
TEXAkinori Otsuka
Down 4-2b9232006-06-24PHITom Gordon
Tied 3-3
b10122006-07-31CLEFausto Carmona
Down 8-6
b9132007-09-12TBDAlberto Reyes
Down 4-3
b9122009-08-26CHWTony Pena
Tied 2-2
b911
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.

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.

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis hit three-run homers and left-hander Brian Johnson started and pitched two scoreless innings to help the Red Sox win their spring training opener, 9-6, over Northeastern University on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Johnson, who made one spot start in his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2015 but then was derailed by injuries and anxiety issues last season, struck out three and walked one Thursday. He's expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts in 2016.

Moreland, the left-handed hitting first baseman signed to a one-year deal after spending his first seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, and Travis, a right-handed hitting first base prospect coming back from knee surgery last season, each hit three-run homers in a six-run third inning.

Pablo Sandoval, attempting to reclaim the third-base job after missing nearly all of last season after surgery on his left shoulder, went 1-for-2 with a double. 

The Red Sox open Grapefruit League play Friday afternoon when they host the New York Mets at JetBlue Park.