There still are some positives to be taken from this year’s Boston Red Sox team despite it being a lost season.
Boston has struggled this year, to say the least, after winning 108 regular-season games en route to a World Series title just 11 months ago. But through the inconsistencies and frustration, Xander Bogaerts always gave 100 percent at shortstop as well as the plate.
Such was the case again in the Red Sox’s 9-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday Fenway Park. Bogaerts went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, but it wasn’t the offense that manager Alex Cora lauded after the game.
“Honestly, out of the whole thing today, the home run and the hits, that last ground ball, he was flying to first base,” he said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “… That’s the way he is. That’s a kid that everybody has grown to love here, he got here in ’13 and he did some outstanding things in the playoffs. And now he’s not that tall lanky kid from ’13. Now he’s a strong man. He’s a force at this level. he’s taking pride in a lot of things. To see that kind of effort in Game 161 when everybody knows we’re going home after the game tomorrow is great.
“That’s why we made the commitment. That’s why we’re very confident that he’s going to keep doing these things for a long, long time in Boston.”
The Red Sox locked up Bogaerts on a seven-year deal earlier in the season and while this year certainly won’t have the ending many had hoped for, the future still is bright with a player like Bogaerts.
“We got one more game to go,” the shortstop said on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “I’m proud of the way I went out every day and gave it all that I have and tried to help the team. It didn’t work out and we have one more game to go.”
But how does Bogaerts improve upon a season that was as solid as the one he had?
“Just go to the beach, reflect on the memories I had.”
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Red Sox-Orioles game:
— Bogaerts now is tied with Nomar Garciaparra for most extra-base hits in a season by a shortstop with 85. Garciaparra has held the record since completing the feat twice in 1997 and again in 2002.
— Eduardo Rodriguez goes for win No. 20 on Sunday in Boston’s final game of 2019.
“We know Eddie is going for big 20 tomorrow,” Bogaerts said on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “So I think we need to come in tomorrow with a little chip on our shoulder and get the job done. … Try to get some good sleep tonight. I know we’re eliminated but that’s something pretty special to see happen … obviously it’s an individual accomplishment but at this point we can’t make the playoffs no more. For the way he’s been for us this year I think he deserves a nice way to end the season.”
— J.D. Martinez added to his team-leading home run total Saturday when he belted No. 36 into the the Green Monster.