On the night the Red Sox finally got to honor David Ortiz in front of the Fenway Faithful for hitting 500 home runs, it wasn’t David Ortiz providing the heroics—it was Xander Bogaerts. One of the team’s young guns, Xander Bogaerts provided the fireworks on Monday night against the Tampa Bay Rays. Bogaerts provided an 8th inning grand slam last night, which gave the Red Sox an 8-6 lead and proved to be the game-winning hit. Bogaerts ended up with 5 RBI’s in a victory that moved the Red Sox into 4th place in the AL East ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Say what you will about the team’s struggles as a whole, but Xander Bogaerts has been one of the most consistent players this season, with a .323 average on the season, 7 home runs and 78 RBI’s this season. He also has a chance at 200 hits if he finishes this year strong. Currently, Xander sits at 182 hits with 13 games left in the season, so it’s very doable if he continues to hit like he has been. Will he do it? Who knows, but again, Bogaerts has been one of the most consistent players on the team this season. He also should have been an All-Star, but that’s a whole other rant for another time.
More importantly, Xander Bogaerts’ heroics last night lifted the team out of last place by a half game for the first time in what feels like forever. They currently are a half game ahead of the Rays with 3 more games at Fenway to look forward to before hosting the Orioles for 3 at home to close out their final home stand of the season. They will cap off their sseason on the road with 3 against the New York Yankees followed by 4 against the Cleveland Indians to wrap up the 2015 season.
While 2015 is a lost cause, and has been for some time, Xander Bogaerts and the rest of the team’s young core, are giving fans plenty to look forward to next season. It seems that this team is a few good pieces away from being legit contenders in 2016, thanks to the young guys. The team needs to get an ace or 2 and reinforce the bullpen, but that’s about it. They’ve got some good weapons on offense at the moment, but their pitching has been the Achilles heel all year.
Make no mistake, though: The team is so close to being a contender, and it’s thanks in large part to their rising star, Xander Bogaerts.