Friday, September 6, 2013

Bombs Away

The Red Sox played home run derby last night at Fenway Park, going deep eight times to tie a franchise record. David Ortiz (twice), Stephen Drew, Daniel Nava, Mike Napoli, Jacoby Ellsbury, Ryan Lavarnway, and Will Middlebrooks all went yard in a breathtaking display of power.

For all the years the Red Sox have played and all the great offenses they've assembled, a home run barrage of this magnitude had only happened once before: on the Fourth of July (how fitting), 1977. Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski, Butch Hobson, Bernie Carbo, Fred Lynn (twice) and George Scott (twice) homered that day, but all but one blast came with nobody on base. The damage was limited, but still enough to beat the Blue Jays 9-6.

This year's team is not exceptionally powerful--they rank seventh among AL teams in dingers and only Ortiz has popped more than 20--but it still boasts the top-scoring offense in baseball. That was evident last night as the Sox annihilated the Tigers 20-4. After going down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first, Boston scored in each of its next seven times up to bat. Eight runs came across in the bottom half of the sixth, putting the game out of reach and helping Ryan Dempster improve his record to 8-9 on the year.

After a performance like that, the Red Sox have to be feeling good about themselves as they leave town for a pivotal four game set versus the Yankees, who have several star sluggers themselves in the form of Robinson Cano, Alfonso Soriano, and Alex Rodriguez.

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