Xander Bogaerts had a similar reaction to all those watching Saturday’s game after the Boston Red Sox shortstop started an incredible sixth-inning double play against the Baltimore Orioles.
Bogaerts, going to his right in the hole between shortstop and third base, got a backhand on the ball after a high bounce, spun to get himself a better throw to second baseman Michael Chavis, who then threw to first baseman Bobby Dalbec, who stretched and pulled it in right in time.
Red Sox fans may have jumped out of their seats when the play was made, and it seems Bogaerts, if he were seated in the first place, probably would have done the same.
“That double play was nice. I got really excited,” Bogaerts said during a postgame video conference after the win. “Obviously, (Richards) was kind of grinding in that inning. He threw some good pitches, but guys were just putting up good at-bats, getting on base. It kind of killed the bleeding a little bit. So, that one was real nice.”
Richards was asked about the numerous defensive plays made by Bogaerts in the contest and called it “absolutely amazing.” Red Sox manager Alex Cora expressed how plays like that make Bogaerts the best shortstop in the game.
“He is who he is. He’s probably the best offensive shortstop in the big leagues, but whatever he touches, he turns into outs,” Cora said of Bogaerts. “Sometimes people get too caught up in the numbers, but overall, the whole package, if he’s not the best shortstop in big leagues, well, you know, I mean, somebody needs to show me somebody else, to be honest with you.”
Richards went seven innings while scattering eight hits with four earned runs. Without that specific play by Bogaerts and the Red Sox defense, though, it could have been a much different story.