David Ortiz went 3-for-4 with a home run in last night's win over the Royals, and in the process reinforced his title with apologies to the time Bobby V. forgot Matt Albers name as the undisputed "best story" of this otherwise awful season.
Through 28 games, Ortiz is now hitting .380 (which ranks second in the AL behind Derek Jeter) with seven home runs (4th in the AL), 12 doubles (2nd) and 23 RBI (4th). He also leads the American League with a .443 .OBP.
Not bad for a guy everyone was ready to ship off to the glue factory, eh?
Of all the unexpected greatness, the most surprising comes against lefties; a situation where Ortiz was just about useless for a long stretch of his career.
In 2008, Ortiz he hit .221 against south paws. In 2009, he hit .212. In 2010, .229.
But last year, something clicked.
All of a sudden, Ortiz's average exploded to .329. And this year, he's in another stratosphere, hitting .432, with four of his seven homers coming against left-handers.
While I'm sure he won't keep the pace up all season, the fact that he's even kept it up this long seems to defy everything we thought we knew about the guy.
So, what's his secret?
In the words of Gun N Rose: Welcome to the Jungle!!!
No, wait. I mean: Just a little patience.
It was just about making sense of it, going back to being patient, Ortiz said recently. Lefties were getting me out, but it wasnt them getting me out, it was me getting myself out. I was chasing pitches you just dont hit. The difference between that time and now is that Im not chasing those pitches."
And you can expect much of the same tonight, when Ortiz takes the plate against Royals left-hander Danny Duffy against whom Papi's a career 2-for-2 with two doubles.