The Boston Red Sox had a scare late in Tuesday night’s 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
With J.D. Martinez standing on first base in the ninth inning, the outside of Xander Bogaerts’ hand was drilled by a pitch from Philly’s Seranthony Dominguez, sending the shortstop away from the batter’s box and to the ground briefly, all while shouting in pain.
He immediately got a visit from manager Alex Cora and team medical personnel, but stayed in and finished the game, jogging down to first base.
He later was diagnosed with a right-hand contusion, with X-rays coming back negative.
Following the game, the 25-year-old gave an update on the injury.
“It hurts,” a visibly shaken Bogaerts said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “We’ve got the day off tomorrow and we’ll see where we go from there.”
A big part of the reason Bogaerts was so frustrated and concerned was that the pitch got him in the same spot as a ball last season, which visibly impacted his performance the remainder of the season.
“This was a bit harder, this guy was throwing hard,” Bogaerts said of the difference between the two. “As soon as I got hit I was like, ‘I can’t believe it.’ But it happens, it’s part of the game.
“… It is what it is, I can’t go back in time and un-hit myself, I mean he already did it.”
Bogaerts’ X-rays also came back negative last season, so he noted he hardly is taking solace in the fact that the pictures came back clean this time around.
“No, it doesn’t (make me feel better),” Bogaerts said. “Last year I think it kind of was the same thing, and I don’t want that feeling again.”
While it is encouraging the shortstop felt fine enough to remain in the game, Cora and Co. must certainly be hoping he still will be available, especially with a four-game set against the New York Yankees on the docket for this weekend.
In a broader sense, losing Bogaerts would be another tough blow to the already injury-riddled Red Sox. The shortstop is one of Boston’s most consistent bats and an important hitter in the middle of the order, hitting .276 with an .855 OPS and 16 home runs.
Bogaerts already has missed some time this season due to injury, getting hurt in the early weeks of the campaign after sliding into the dugout trying to chase an errant throw, which landed him on the disabled list.
Here are some other notes from Tuesday’s Red Sox-Phillies game:
— While the result wasn’t what the Boston Red Sox wanted Tuesday, some important progress was made on the Drew Pomeranz front.
Although the left-hander lasted just five innings, he allowed two runs on four hits, walking four, hitting two batters and striking out three.
While it was far from a dominant outing, there were a handful of important improvements from what we’ve seen this season.
For one, he kept the ball inside the park. Entering the game he had allowed at least one home run in five of his nine outings, but he kept the Phillies from driving the ball out of Fenway. He also upped his velocity, with his fastball touching 93 mph at a couple points after hovering at 89 nearly all season. And though he allowed plenty of traffic on the bases, he mostly did a fine job limiting damage.
The Red Sox have no choice but to roll with Pomeranz now that Chris Sale is on the disabled list. So though it would be ideal for him to go deeper into games, the fact that he’s not just going out and getting shelled is a step in the right direction.
— Joe Kelly is working his way back into Cora’s good graces.
The right-hander lost his role as the Sox’s eighth-inning high-leverage reliever for now, but he has pitched well in each of his last three outings. He allowed one hit in a scoreless sixth inning Tuesday, and has allowed a combined two hits with as many strikeouts and one walk over three innings in his last three outings.
Boston has remained steadfast in its belief that Kelly can return to becoming an integral part of the bullpen, and Cora noted Tuesday that little by little Kelly is regaining his trust.
— Blake Swihart continues to roll.
Playing catcher Tuesday, the utility man extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a leadoff single in the sixth.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images