Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz: How good is he?
Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz is hitting .733 with two homers, two doubles and six RBIs in the 2013 World Series. In his three World Series, Ortiz is hitting .465, best-ever among players with at least 50 plate appearances.
The Red Sox slugger is on a tear in the World Series. He went 3 for 4 with an RBI double on Monday night as Boston won 3-1 to move within one game of its third title since 2004.
Ortiz doubled home Dustin Pedroia in the first, singled in the fourth and singled again in the eighth. His lone out was a smash to center caught by Shane Robinson.
Ortiz is hitting .733 with two homers, two doubles and six RBIs in the series. The Cardinals have intentionally walked him just once, though they've pitched around him for four other walks.
"What planet is that guy from?" Red Sox catcher David Ross asked.
First base was open in the first after Pedroia's one-out double, but Wainwright went after Ortiz and Big Papi lashed a hit down the right-field line.
Matheny said the plan was to make "tough pitches" rather than walk Ortiz.
"And sometimes we get more of the plate than what we're looking to get," Matheny said.
"Right there, it was the idea of making it tough. And unfortunately he found the spot."
"That was my call before the game," Wainwright said. "I said, 'I'm not pitching around Ortiz today. I'm going to get him out.'"
So much for that idea.
Ortiz is on pace for one of the best World Series hitting performances ever. Not that his manager is ready to anoint him MVP of the series.
"The one thing we won't do is get too far ahead of ourselves, whether that's what we achieve collectively or what any individual's performance suggests," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "But he's in a really good place, obviously."
Billy Hatcher of the Reds hit .750 with an .800 on-base percentage in the Reds' sweep of the Oakland Athletics in 1990, a performance that included seven straight hits. Both the average and on-base percentage are all-time highs for qualifying World Series players. Ortiz has an on-base percentage of .750 so far in this series.
It isn't just this October. In three World Series, Ortiz is hitting .465, best-ever among players with at least 50 plate appearances.
"I was born for this," Ortiz said with a smile.
Babe Ruth had the second-highest batting average, .625 in 1928, followed by Hideki Matsui's .615 for the Yankees in 2009.
Meanwhile, with at least one game remaining, the Red Sox hitters have already set a dubious record: Most postseason strikeouts.
The Red Sox struck out 14 times in Game 5 of the World Series on Monday, giving them 150 for the postseason and shattering the record of 142 set by the San Francisco Giants in 2010.
They certainly got off to a swing-and-miss start Monday. Seven of the first nine hitters struck out — three looking, four swinging.
Overall, Wainwright struck out 10, reliever Carlos Martinez one and Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the ninth.
Red Sox catcher David Ross credited the Cardinals' pitchers.
"We're facing the best pitching — we've faced the best pitching that baseball has to offer right now," Ross said. "They're game planning, they're switching things up. It's tough. Hitting is tough, period."
That's little consolation for the Cardinals, who had their own trouble making contact. St. Louis hitters struck out nine times — seven by starter Jon Lester and two by closer Koji Uehara.