Ortiz looks to get back on track
Red Sox slugger hopes home cooking will heat up bat
BOSTON -- The big left-handed bat of David Ortiz has yet to be heard from in the 2008 postseason. Known for his October heroics in years past, Ortiz took a .143 average (4-for-23) with no homers and one RBI into Monday's Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Rays.
However, Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who observed Ortiz closely during Sunday's optional workout, sounded as if he was anticipating a resurgence from his No. 3 hitter. This, after he watched Ortiz take aim at the opposite field.
"I was proud of him [Sunday]," Francona said. "He came out and just peppered that wall. That was really an intelligent thing to do. You hear me talk all the time about it, and David is the main guy. When he has the ability to hit that wall, he has the ability to hit the ball anywhere with power. He came out and spent about 10 minutes and just beat the [heck] out of that wall. I thought that was a good move."
Ortiz was asked Sunday if he is frustrated.
"I'm not frustrated, man," Ortiz said. "Next [question]."
Have the Rays been giving him any good pitches to hit?
"Have you been watching the games? I don't have to tell you then," said Ortiz. "What else?"
In other words, Ortiz didn't feel like spending his time dissecting what has ailed him. He was instead putting his energy into fixing it.
"Sometimes it's the way you get pitched," Francona said. "In our game, so many things can happen. You offer at a ball in the dirt and all of a sudden you kind of have it in your head that this is going to happen again. There are so many things that can go into a good at-bat or having success. I just think that there's just a lot of variables."
As is always the case with Ortiz, one big hit could be a cure-all.
"With a big bat, those kind of numbers can change in one game," Francona said. "He's always that threat in the middle that they have to respect, and over the course of a series, those things can change dramatically. That's why you like having those big bats."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.