…and surprise, surprise, it isn’t for Travis Hafner. From today’s Boston Herald
Already trailing the Yankees by one game in the AL East, the Sox faced a 4-1 deficit entering the bottom of the sixth inning. They rallied for an inspiring 5-4 victory behind, largely, Jonathan Papelbon and David Ortiz, one a fountain of youth and the other an old faithful.
About Ortiz, in particular, there really is nothing we can say anymore. The designated hitter may or may not win the AL Most Valuable Player award, but there simply has not been anyone in baseball this season who has meant more to his team.
There may not even be anyone close.
“The guy’s unbelievable,” Kevin Millar said of Ortiz, who tied the game at 4 with a solo homer in the eighth inning and won it with a one-out single in the ninth. “He’s the greatest clutch hitter in the game, 100 percent. You just don’t see that. It’s not that easy.”
And what of the 24-year-old Papelbon? Slightly more than a year ago, he was pitching in the Single-A Florida State League. Now he is in the midst of a big league September during which he is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA, including a sterling, scoreless, 2 2/3-inning performance last night in which he threw 23-of-30 pitches for strikes.
Papelbon has truly been a revelation for Boston, early to the extent of New York’s Aaron Small. It would only figure that in a season where Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright have struggled, the Yankees’ savior would be an unheralded 33 year old making $300,000.