After the Sox fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first, the designated hitter stepped to the plate with a runner on and two outs. With a full count, Ortiz smacked a two-run homer around Pesky's Pole, giving the Red Sox a lead that they would never give up.
It was something the Red Sox have grown accustomed to seeing this year, as Ortiz is nearing 30 homers and 90 RBIs with a little less than a month to go in the season. It's the type of offensive production that may warrant a new contract.
Will the Red Sox bring back David Ortiz?
–Dani, Chapel Hill, N.C.
At more than $12 million, his option is a big one. I think his production
and the player he has returned to be is worth that dollar figure in
today’s game. Maybe, and I am only guessing, perhaps they sign him to a
two-year agreement lowering the option price for next year and extending
his deal. That would be similar to what they did with Tim Wakefield
last offseason. They lessened the price on the option year but extended
the contract another year. I never imagine he would bounce back the way
that he did after April and I readily admit that he has proved us all
Is Jed Lowrie part of the future for the Sox?
–Tiffany, Wakefield, Mass.
I think he is. I think we forget how good this guy was when he first arrived because of all the injuries and time off the field he has spent. He was one of those guys who was in awe of nothing when he arrived and produced and was strong defensively. Sadly, the wrist and then the mononucleosis sidelined him for a long time and really weakened him for a while.
Since he's come back, he has again shown that he could be an answer moving forward — at the very least as a very good utility player for the Sox. He is one of the guys you really root for, especially with all that he has gone through.
At what point do the Sox call it a year and start to take a look at some guys for next year?
–Ben, Hamden, Conn.
I think injuries have already provided the Red Sox that luxury. Sadly, we are seeing most if not all the guys we saw in spring training already because the Sox have been decimated by injuries. You may see a few more call-ups but really, we have seen them all. The difference may be the amount of time we see them play. When the Sox determine they are truly out of the equation, I fully expect to see more of Jarrod Saltalamacchia play more down the stretch. We are already seeing Ryan Kalish in center every day. Yamaico Navarro is seeing time and may see more. The guys who have played a lot who did not start the season here would normally be seen in September, not June as was the case this year.
Why is solid middle relief so hard to come by?
–Stan, Duluth, Minn.
I think there is a certain amount of luck involved. You look at the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, and they were a collection of veteran relievers who had some success in the past but really came together and had career years in '08. that was the major difference in that team getting to the World Series. The next year, the same group was not good and the team went nowhere.
The middle relief thing is, on paper, semi-easy to explain. If you are a good pitcher you are either a starter, eighth-inning setup guy or closer. The rest are somewhere in the middle, thus their positioning on the roster. You just hope your middle is stronger than the rest.
Will the surgery on Dustin Pedroia’s foot set him back for 2011?
I think the reason they did it now was to avoid setbacks. My understanding is the surgery will now allow him to be ready to start his normal offseason regimen on or around Dec. 1. They did not want to mess up his offseason and the surgery should have zero impact on 2011.
You just hope that all that everything does heal properly and that he did not do any further damage due to his great desire to return to the Red Sox' lineup. I admire his desire to come back and do all he could to get the Sox back to the postseason. For him, it was mentally and physically agonizing to watch every day injured while injured. We all the know the competitor that he is, and to sit and idly watch was killing him.