Let us rise (yet again) in praise of David Americo Ortiz.
It might be true that we praise David Ortiz a lot on this site, but this time it is truly merited, as Ortiz is currently in the midst of one of the greatest periods of sustained excellence in baseball post-season history.
I think most baseball fans probably have some sense that Ortiz has been hitting wel in the playoffs of late, but I was floored when I actually took a look at the numbers.
From the start of the 2004 postseason through game one with Cleveland, Ortiz has played in 19 postseason games, batting .434 with 8 home runs, 23 RBI, and a .561 on-base percentage. Breaking down those numbers, he has hit safely in 33 out of 76 at-bats, and reached base in 55 out of 98 plate appearances, and has launched a home run once every 9.5 at-bats. Two of those home-runs were game-winning walk-off shots, and he also added a walk-off single.
Just looking at this year’s performance so far, Ortiz has reached base in 16 out of 18 plate appearances, going 7-9 with 8 walks and a hit-by-pitch, for a .778 batting average and an .889 on-base-percentage.
I think most of us can agree with the assumption that it’s harder for hitters to put up as good numbers in the postseason as they do in the regular season, given that most teams essentially go with a three-man rotation of their top three hurlers and only pitch the top half of their regular-season bullpen. Which just makes Ortiz’s numbers that much more amazing. Is there anyone we can think of who has hit that well for that many postseason games in a row?
Reggie Jackson got nicknamed “Mr. October” for his post-season heroics. If this continues, Ortiz is going to need a special postseason nickname too.