FORT MYERS, Fla. — Northeastern pitcher James Mulry has a leg up on many major league hurlers. That’s because the college sophomore got the best of both Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz on Thursday.
Mulry, a native of West Roxbury, Mass., struck out Pedroia and Ortiz in back-to-back at-bats during Thursday’s Red Sox-Northeastern spring training exhibition at JetBlue Park. It was an achievement Mulry hardly envisioned when he toed the rubber against Boston’s dynamic duo in the third inning.
“I was really just trying to have fun out there,” Mulry said, according to the Boston Herald.
“When Pedroia stepped in, I was really just trying to have a lot of fun,” Mulry continued. “But with Ortiz in there, he just looks a lot bigger in the box. … I guess you get a little nervous.”
Pedroia, who always is a competitive player, appeared frustrated by the strikeout, whereas Ortiz smiled on his way back to the dugout, perhaps in disbelief. Mulry, meanwhile, was unwilling to shoot the two sluggers — who have a combined 13 All-Star selections and five World Series rings between them — a glance upon picking up his surprising back-to-back K’s.
“I turned away. I didn’t even look at him,” Mulry said. “I don’t know what (Ortiz) did. I heard everyone laughing as he was walking off, as he waved or something.”
Mulry said he didn’t look at Pedroia or Ortiz out of respect for the Red Sox’s All-Star tandem. Ortiz joked shortly after Mulry’s head-turning performance, though, that the young southpaw could go have a drink and say he struck out Papi.