10 times David Ortiz defined clutch in October for the Red Sox
As David Ortiz embarks on his final October journey -- in hopes of winning a fourth World Series ring -- he already has a postseason resume that few can match.
Whether you believe there is such a thing as "clutch," it's impossible to deny that Ortiz has come up huge in some of the biggest postseason moments in the past 13 years. By delivering walk-off after walk-off, he actually morphed into Big Papi -- an October hero in Red Sox Nation and a household name throughout the baseball world.
Here are the 10 times that Ortiz came through on the biggest stage:
Even after a 31-homer, 101-RBI effort in his first season with Boston, the Red Sox weren't quite sure what they had in Ortiz. He provided a glimpse here. With his team behind 4-3 and facing elimination, Ortiz hit a two-out, two-run double off A's closer Keith Foulke in the bottom of the eighth. Boston won the game, 5-4, and won Game 5 to capture the series after dropping the first two games.
Trying to sweep the Angels, the Red Sox took a commanding 6-1 lead before giving it all back in the seventh inning. Enter Ortiz, who already had two doubles and a single in the game. With one on and two out in the 10th inning, Ortiz sent this Jarrod Washburn pitch over the Green Monster to lift Boston to the ALCS, where Big Pari's legend would be established.
The walk-off homer is as legendary as the series itself. The Red Sox were on the verge of being swept after a humiliating 19-8 loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park in Game 3. After rallying to tie the game at 4 against Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning, Ortiz took Paul Quantrill deep in the 12th. Boston suddenly had a heartbeat.
With the Red Sox still trying to stave off elimination, Ortiz singled in the first run in the first inning and homered when the Red Sox tied the game at 4 in the eighth inning. The score remained the same until the bottom of the 14th inning when Ortiz fought off an Esteban Loaiza pitch and Johnny Damon scored from second.
Often overlooked because of his heroics earlier in the series is the two-run shot that started the scoring for the Red Sox in the finale. Ortiz deposited a Kevin Brown pitch in the right-field seats at Yankee Stadium for his only hit in the 10-3 win -- his third homer and 10th and 11th RBI in the improbable comeback.
After carrying the Red Sox on his back during the AL playoffs, Ortiz crushed a Woody Williams pitch to put Boston up 3-0 in the first inning against the Cardinals. It was his only homer of the series, but it put the Red Sox ahead to stay in a wild 11-9 win. Boston never trailed during its sweep of St. Louis that ended its 86-year World Series drought and the Curse of the Bambino.
Just as they did en route to their World Series win in 2004, the Red Sox swept the Angels in this Division Series. And just as he did three years earlier, Ortiz provided a brutal blow to the Angels' hopes. His solo homer in the fourth inning gave Boston a 1-0 lead in a game it won 9-1.
His signature shot of the 2013 postseason would come in the next round against the Tigers, but Ortiz first had to ensure the Red Sox would advance past the Rays. His two solo homers off David Price did just that. Boston won this game, 7-4, and took the series in four games.
After getting shut out in Game 1 and trailing 5-1 in Game 2, the Red Sox were in serious danger of losing the first two games of the series at Fenway Park. Boston finally rallied in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with two outs with Ortiz at the plate. He drove a Joaquin Benoit offering over the right-field wall and into the bullpen, creating the legend of Bullpen Cop. The Red Sox won the game in the ninth and the series in six.
There were plenty of highlights at the plate for Ortiz, who was named MVP after hitting a ridiculous .688/760/1.188 with two homers, six RBI and eight walks against the Cardinals. Instead, the most memorable moment came with the Red Sox trailing 2-1 in the series. Ortiz had just scored to tie the game at 1 and gave an impassioned dugout speech, which was followed by a three-run homer by Jonny Gomes in the next inning. Boston won Games 4, 5 and 6 and its third World Series since 2004.