Red Sox Strut: Familiar faces in familiar places – Eduardo Rodriguez and David Ortiz


Now, to fully understand what the Red Sox Strut is, it means to have reason to walk with a confident, proud air around you. Some people mistake it for vanity, arrogance, or being pompous. This incorrect assumption is not what we mean. The Strut is about knowing that your deeds showed off your amazing skills to the baseball-loving public.

The Red Sox played in six games since the Strut was awarded last week – three at Fenway against the rival New York Yankees and another three also at home versus the horrible Philadelphia Phillies. They walked away with a 4-2 record on the week as the recent resurgence continued with this younger, revitalized lineup livening things up down the stretch. Sure, their chances to pull off any kind of miracle postseason appearance are just to the right of zero, but at least they’ve been playing with some energy for the fans that have managed to stick around.

While a lot of focus has been put on Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Travis Shaw and the lot of young positional players the Red Sox have been relying on, part of this recent spark has been provided by much more solid, effective pitching – at least from the starting rotation. This past week offered a few different options for Strut nominees.

Henry Owens was rocked in his day-game start in the last meeting of the series against the Yankees, not even making it through two full innings and giving up seven earned runs. Needless to say, he won’t be strutting this week. However, his start was really the only non-quality one of the bunch.

Rick Porcello put on a masterful performance on Tuesday night against the Yanks going eight innings and tallying up 13 strikeouts. A lack of run support and a late inning homerun from Brett Gardner would throw him in the L column, but it was an encouraging display. Joe Kelly was solid in earning his seventh victory in a row over Philadelphia Friday night. Wade Miley pitched a nine-inning complete game win against the Phillies on Saturday giving up only two runs on five hits and adding eight strikeouts. Tough to compete with that.

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Still, the true strutter this week in this department is someone who is familiar with the accolade. Eduardo Rodriguez led the Sox to two victories last week and looks to be right back on track to anchoring the rotation ever since Clay Buchholz went down earlier in the season.

Last Monday night saw a tough Yankee lineup come into Fenway, and they were hoping to do some damage early and often while they fought to remain in the playoff hunt. Rodriguez showed that he can be a true “stopper” for this team though. He worked his way through five innings scattering seven hits and three walks, but only allowed one earned run. The bullpen assisted and Mookie and David Ortiz added enough offense to put them over the hump.

On Sunday, E-Rod found himself facing a much less potent opponent in the Phillies and he capitalized. He dominated from the very beginning and while the Red Sox offense scored early, they pounded Philadelphia down to sweep the series. He did allow eight hits, but once again only one run would cross the plate under his watch. He also only gave up one walk and sent down seven by way of the K.
Eduardo Rodriguez just looks like he has matured right before our eyes and while everyone realized he had “the stuff” much earlier on, he has now proven he can with the mental battles as well. This could lead to him being a legitimate ace for this staff for years to come, and definitely leads to him strutting it up and down the diamond this week!


There have been a variety of young players that have been stepping up their games in the last month for Boston including Mookie Betts, Brock Holt, Travis Shaw and more. They all had some good game over the course of the last week again, but the Strut honors really come down to a battle between two positional players this time around.

Sep 6, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz steps to the plate before hitting a home run, the 497th of his career, during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

David Ortiz has been on an absolute tear recently during his pursuit of 500 career homeruns. He is once again putting fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers as they try to figure out how to handle Big Papi. Despite an 0-4/4 strikeout performance against the Yankees on Tuesday, he still had an incredibly productive week. He went 7-for-20 (.350) from the plate with seven RBI and three homeruns. While the chase for 500 is good drama for a team not in the hunt and the homeruns have been absolute blasts, it’s still not quite as good as one of his teammates. In fact, it could be argued that part of Ortiz’ success could be attributed to the red hot streak this man is on.

That’s right – the Strut honors this week are awarded to Xander Bogaerts. This man has been setting the table for Papi as of late. He is easily the most consistent member of the Sox lineup and has been all season. Bogaerts went a whopping 10-24 over the last week (.417 batting average), adding nine RBI and a homerun. His bases clearing double against the Phillies in which he eventually came around to score on a throwing error may be one of the best highlights of the year for this team. Also, Papi is still swinging away and was sent back to the dugout eight different times by way of a strikeout, while Xander only struck out three times.

Bogaerts maintains a solid consistency and presence at the plate and comes to play hard everyday. He is already setting an example for his younger, inexperience teammates. The team is thriving on this type of effort and energy … which is why he can use some of that energy to Strut this week.

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