Newly acquired outfielder Alex Verdugo went yard for the first time in a Boston Red Sox uniform Wednesday in their 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
The 24-year-old’s two-run homer to right field got the Sox on the board first, and they never looked back
In his post-game video conference, however, Verdugo noted that while his first homer in Boston felt great, getting over some implications of the COVID-19 pandemic made it all the better.
Quite frankly, these guys really are missing having video to make in-game adjustments.
“It felt amazing, man,” Verdugo said postgame. “I think it’s pretty obvious, a lot of us are kind of going through it right now, trying to find our swings, and there’s a lot of new things in baseball with not being able to see the videos until after the games and all that. So usually the in-game adjustments have been hard, but it felt really good to finally stay on one, stay through it and to get one out.”
Verdugo was 1-for-3 with a run, two RBI and a strikeout against Tampa, but that one at-bat was crucial in getting things going for Boston.
Verdugo explained what it took to get to that swing after a late start in “Summer Camp” thanks to a stress fracture in his back.
“My biggest thing for me was coming off the injury and not doing very much and then kind of jumping straight into games. It’s hard because little things in your swing break down, whether you know it or not. And that’s what video helps so much. It shows if you’re leaking, it shows what’s going on with your swing, if your timing is off. And for me, I think the biggest thing, my timing was super late. Starting late, everything like that. The pitches everything was speeding up on me.
“It’s a day-to-day grind. You’ve got to go up there every day and compete and do your best to go up there and do what you feel is right.”
Verdugo will get another whack at it Thursday as the Red Sox return home to start a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays. First pitch is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.