Let me throw a few names at you: Dave McCarty and Bobby Keelty. It’s a little easier to miss Daniel Nava? Jose Iglesias, of course, given the recency.
It may be a bit early to add Rob Refsneider to that club, but he has named himself in just nine games of early summer action for the Red Sox.
Bit players helping a good season stay on track.
Even the best teams are huge puzzles, arranged to name a few dozen over seven months. It takes a lot of great performances, and they’re not all going to come from being overpaid and easy to remember.
McCarty played his way to the ’04 Red Sox bench in spring training, winning them two games with big hits (including one) in May. walk on fenway) and hung around the roster for almost a whole year. He didn’t play in the postseason, but Curtis Lescanic did, and without getting the last four outs of Game 4 in the ALCS against the Yankees (including Bernie Williams loaded bases), who knows how different history is?
In August 2007, Keelty was stripped of exemption strings, saw a World Series pitch to cap a 600-game MLB career, and slammed it for one. title-cleaning home run, Nava had a late-game, forward-looking hit in seven Red Sox victories in 2013, one of several career years (Mike Karp, anyone?) that helped bring that championship home.
Iglesias, brought back in the final month of last season, was a stabilizing force without whom the Red Sox almost certainly would not have made the playoffs.
“I think it matters a lot what he brings to the equation at the clubhouse,” said Sox manager Alex Cora. said under the stretch Last defeat. “It helps a lot of people, and he’s a veteran who understands how to win a ball game.”
Refsnyder, 31, doesn’t necessarily fit that mold, a fifth-round pick by the Yankees a decade ago with only 242 games (including postseason) as a major leaguer. The Red Sox is his ninth outfit; He led the team out of camp as the fourth outfielder, but a late cut that remained on the radar at Worcester. (He has played nearly 500 games in Triple-A since he first got there in 2014.)
Refsnyder made a cameo in three Greeley Tribune games in late April, then was recalled again on June 10. That night in Seattle, he scored the winning run after hitting a pitch and going from first to third on a single. There was a catch two days later. Two days after that, he had three hits in Oakland. afterwards RBI single on Sunday Against St. Louis, he is 9 for 23 (.391).
It’s a small matter. A small sample, a small addition, a small contribution. If it needs to be anything else, the Red Sox are probably closer to a team that still hasn’t won a series against an American League East rival, losing 13-5—which is also five games away. There was a ruckus against the Orioles in late May.
We can point this weekend against the first-place Cardinals, as we pointed out two-three against the first-place Astros a month ago as a possible proof of concept. Michael Wacha (2.28 season ERA) and Nick Pivetta (1.77 ERA in their last nine starts) added weight. The offense posted double-digit hits twice. Tanner Hawk staggered twice, but didn’t fall when Greeley Tribune needed their close twice in games going 6–1 in the ninth.
“There are moments in every season where you want to see how the team reacts,” said Jackie Bradley Jr. told reporters“And this was the one for us.”
“I think it sets in stone what kind of baseball team we are,” Pivetta said.
The news was hardly good, despite Pivetta’s froth. (boy, were they last three strikes And fun to watch later.) We learned about Nate Iovaldi’s injury absence can be extended, Hawke’s four chances to survive, Mariano Rivera-esque among his teammates, makes him another key piece just before another Toronto series that he can outrun himself.
And that’s with a team that relies more on relievers than almost anyone need to cut at the end 13 to the pitcher.
For now, they are doing enough. Finding the inning of relief, finding the big hit, finding your way to the stack must win against opponents to beat them. It doesn’t mean they are a great team yet, but every great team has done it this way because there is no other way.
Cora doesn’t need a lesson, but she is another reminder of it. He was arguably the best hitter on the April 2007 Red Sox, cracking go-forward hits on back-to-back nights and holding a spot as some rookie named Dustin Pedroia got his foot in the majors.
It must have been asking a lot for refsneider’s contribution to add so much to Red Sox history. But for now, he has certainly justified his place in a team that is trying to justify him as our primary focus of the summer.
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