With a little bit of that September drama lacking this year, the Red Sox may have to resort to some smaller battles to keep the competitive juices going. For slugger David Ortiz, that may mean fighting off speedster Jacoby Ellsbury for the title of home run king in the Sox’ clubhouse.
Ellsbury launched his first-ever opposite-field home run on Wednesday night, his 24th tater of the season. That’s one more than Adrian Gonzalez, seven more than both Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis and just four shy of Ortiz, who also homered in Wednesday night’s game.
Considering that Ellsbury had just 20 home runs in his first 1,312 career at-bats, nobody saw this power surge coming. With Ellsbury hot on Ortiz’s trail, the DH was asked, lightheartedly, if he’s worried about losing the home run race to Ellsbury.
“That’s not gonna happen,” Ortiz said, as noted by Tony Lee.
If there’s no playoff race to watch in the latter half of this month, there will, at the very least, be the unlikely power-hitting battle between the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Ortiz and the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Ellsbury.
Oh, and if Ortiz really wants to make things interesting, he can start targeting Ellsbury where it hurts by starting to steal at every opportunity. He’s only 35 stolen bases behind Ellsbury.