The situation: June 11- July 31, 2006
The moment: The king of clutch hits five walk-offs in less than two months
Nobody was better with the game on the line than Ortiz. Over the course of his career, he delivered a whopping 23 walk-off hits. Incredibly, nearly a quarter of these occurred in less than two months, as Ortiz collected five walk-off hits over six weeks in 2006.
Ortiz’s unbelievable streak of clutchness began on a mid-June affair against the Rangers. Down to their final out and trailing by two, the big DH launched a home run off closer Akinori Otsuka to give the Red Sox an improbable 5-4 win. Ortiz’s next walk-off home run would come less than two weeks later when his blast off old nemesis Tom Gordon broke a 3-3 tie in the tenth.
It took just two days for Ortiz to tally another walk-off hit. With Kevin Youkilis standing on second and the score knotted at seven, Papi lined a single to centerfield to walk off the Phillies for the second time in the series.
The Angels would be the next Ortiz walk-off victim, as his 12th inning seeing-eye single chased home Alex Gonzalez to give the Red Sox a 7-6 victory.
Ortiz saved his most heroic walk-off for last. With the Red Sox trailing 8-6 in the ninth inning and facing phenom closer Fausto Carmona, the big lefty deposited a 2-0 pitch into the centerfield seats to complete his record-setting summer of hitting. In a career defined by big hits in big spots, this six-week span was arguably his pinnacle of clutchness.