The Red Sox bounced back after possibly the toughest loss of the year Friday night to take both games over the weekend. The Sox, now 5.5 games ahead of the Yankees in the East, were led by the play of rookies Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers. Benintendi homered three times and drove in nine runners over the weekend series. His two three-run shots during Saturday’s win propelled the team to their 10-5 victory. Not only that, all of his home runs were rockets, making it out of the stadium in the blink of an eye. In Sunday’s game, Benintendi came up with the bases loaded in the 10th and delivered with the game winning hit to right field.
Devers, the 20-year-old- baby faced third baseman, collected the biggest hit of the weekend. With two strikes, facing a fellow lefty and the hardest thrower in the game, Aroldis Chapman, Devers connected for a home run to the opposite field. The pitch was clocked at 102.8 MPH, the fastest recorded pitch hit for a home run.
http://<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Rafael Devers home run was off a 102.8 MPH pitch…. Hardest pitch hit for a HR… Welp ever in the tracked velocity era. (2008)</p>— Daren Willman (@darenw) <a href=”https://twitter.com/darenw/status/896929237545832449″>August 14, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
Impressive only begins to describe the game-tying home run on the biggest stage. Up again in the 10th with the bases full, Devers hit a missile to left field that turned Brett Gardner around. Gardner was able to hang with it and make the catch, but it was another illustration of Devers’ ability to hit the ball hard to all fields. The day before, Devers connected on a lined shot that hit off the center field wall for a double. In New York, Devers picked up four hits and is now batting .328 after having spent only nine games in Pawtucket.
With these two rookies, at 23 and 20 years old, I am excited to see what the future holds for them in Boston. Benintendi has been getting Fred Lynn comparisons all year long. Lynn was on a Hall of Fame path before leaving the Red Sox in free agency. If Benintendi can play like Freddy did in Boston, this should be fun. As for Devers, at 20 years old and having hit at every level of the minors despite being young at each stop, the Major Leagues has not slowed him down. I hope he doesn’t get too much pressure put on him at such a young age and can stay within himself. His future in the big leagues looks like a potential perennial all-star at third base.