Last night the Boston Red Sox beat the Houston Astros (who happen to be the best team in baseball, NBD) 6-5 on Sunday Night Baseball in a quick 4 hour ballgame. With the win the Red Sox took the series vs Houston and moved into a virtual first place tie with the New York Yankees. The Yanks have been sinking like a brick in the ocean, losers of 6 straight games. Capped off by an embarrassing 4 game sweep in Oakland to the last place A's. For context on how bad the A's are, they just won 4 straight against the Yankees and still have the worst record in the American League at 31-38. In case you didn't know, they swept the Yankees.
Xander Bogaerts lead the charge offensively for the Sox driving in their first 3 runs thanks to a pair of homers. In doing so Xander doubled his home run total this season from 2 to 4. While Xander has been having a nice year offensively, hitting .318 he has lacked power to this point in the year. Who knows maybe a performance like he has last night might be all he needed to turn it around. What's really incredible about his game is how it ties into a 5 year old Red Sox fan named Ari Schultz. Many (myself included) believe that he inspired Bogaerts.
In my time away from the blog world last week I missed being able to bring the story of 5 year old Ari Schultz. This little guy is absolute warrior. He became a media darling last week after a video of his reaction from finding out he gets to go home after 189 days in the hospital after heart surgery went viral. In the video he's wearing a #2 Xander Bogaerts Red Sox jersey.
It's hard to watch without getting choked up. Who started chopping onions? His reaction is priceless, and after all he's been through to still have the energy that he has is pretty remarkable. What a tough kid.
Also Ari hit an absolute rocket. Pound for pound he probably has better raw power than Xander if we're being honest. But seriously, I can't even begin to imagine all this little guy has gone through in his 5 years so far. Three open heart surgeries, including two before he was even born. One tough little kid. You have to be an absolute monster to not instantly fall for this kid. That voice is just too cute.
If you listen, when he's calling the shot he says "Xander Bogaerts with a two run home run". Ari is definitely better at calling a baseball game than Jessica Mendoza. When I first watched I couldn't help but have the cynic in me be like "yeah right, Ari, more like Bogaerts with the two out single that's going to get wasted". Shows what I know. Look at what Xander did in the top of 6th inning to retake the lead for the Sox.
A two run homer by the X man on a 0-2 pitch to take the lead. I'm not gonna say Ari called it since a few games have happened since the video took place, but the fact that it happened in the same week is really cool. Especially given Xander's power struggles this year. I'm just saying it is interesting that this is the week he breaks out and starts driving the ball.
What's even better is that over the weekend many people with Red Sox connections reached out to Ari about getting to a baseball field, the oldest and best field in the entire majors, Fenway Park.
It looks like Ari is going to get the star treatment at Fenway sometime in the near future and boy does he deserve it. Very excited to see what is to come with this story because this is definitely not going to be the last we hear from Ari.