It’s not an easy life playing in the American League East. After all, those teams need to play against Xander Bogaerts.
“I’m tired of seeing him,” Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash joked with reporters Saturday in his media availability discussing the Boston Red Sox shortstop.
That’s an understandable sentiment for Cash, who has watched Bogarts bat .429 against his team this season and show up healthy and ready to play game after game.
“He’s very talented, just a special player, superstar,” Cash said. “You look at the Red Sox teams from the past, and there are many names. I think Xander kind of blended with — he was a young guy, and now he’s taken over.
“You know where he’s hitting in the lineup. He never seems to get out of the moment. He stays in it so well. Just a really, really good player.”
Bogaerts is just 29 with two World Series titles, three All-Star appearances, three Silver Slugger Awards and an All-MLB First Team selection. That experience is boding well from him in the postseason, like on Friday, where he hit 3-for-5 with two runs, two RBIs and a home run on a 98 mph pitch he attacked on the inner edge of the strike zone for a Game 2 win.
“Him turning on a 98 in doesn’t surprise us at all,” Cash said. “We’ve seen him do it here plenty of times. Maybe it’s a little more available at this ballpark, knowing that he doesn’t have to quite get it as much, just get it up in the air, there’s going to be a homer or double coming with it. But his career’s been fun to watch.”
Credit where credit is due.
The Red Sox and Rays go back again with both teams looking to gain an advantage in a series tied at 1-1. First pitch on Sunday is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. ET.
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