Two of my favorite teams: the OSU Beavers and the Boston Red Sox now have someone in common: Jacoby Ellsbury. He was called up from Pawtucket to cover for an injury. He may be difficult to send back down.
What was that?Until last week he had the most career hits at OSU. Darwin Barney took that record in the last game of the CWS.
That was quite likely the fastest player every to wear a Red Sox uniform. The Sox have clocked him going from home to first in 3.9 seconds, the kind of time usually associated with speeding bullets like Ichiro Suzuki.
Before last night’s Red Sox win over Texas, Ellsbury spoke matter-of-factly about his eye-popping speed.
“It gets me on base,” he said. “Infielders have a tendency to rush their throws.”
Making his third start last night, subbing for the injured Coco Crisp, Ellsbury again electrified Fenway.
He notched his second major-league hit, similar to his first, in the third inning. Hitting a chopper between the mound and first, Ellsbury sped toward first as second baseman Desi Relaford and pitcher Brandon McCarthy converged, fully aware of who was running and the need to get the ball to first as quickly as possible.
It didn’t matter as Ellsbury reached safely.
After another single to right in the fourth, his first out of the infield, Ellsbury put on his purest display of speed yet. He stole second for another major-league first, then broke from the bag when McCarthy skipped a wild pitch past catcher Gerald Laird.
When Ellsbury saw that the ball had rolled toward the visitors’ dugout, he never slowed as he approached third and seemed to find another gear as he sprinted for home. He finished with an artful hook slide, ultimately unnecessary, as Laird’s throw to McCarthy wasn’t close to being on time.
The crowd of 36,778 stood as one and roared its approval.
Ellsbury is fast and he also brings that OSU energy to Boston, including his base running, forcing the other team to panic. If he does go back down, it won't be for long, with his speed at least as good as Ichiro's and his skills right up there as well.
"I told him today that I haven't seen it in the big leagues," said Red Sox veteran Eric Hinske. "I don't remember it in the Minor Leagues either. Man, he's fast."He had a double, an RBI, and scored a run today in the Bosox 7-5 win over Tampa Bay. Keep him!