Ellsbury walk-off a sign of better things?

The Guru
Contributing Writer

Could Sunday's walk-off game winner be a sign that Jacoby Ellsbury is turning things around?

Entering his free agent year, expectations were high. Many thought with a big contract on the line, Ellsbury would put together another MVP type of season like 2011 when hit 32 home runs and stole over 39 bases.

But Ellsbury has struggled out of the gate. Through 51 games Ellsbury is hitting .249, slugging just .338 and has a paltry .319 on-base percentage. Not exactly the type of numbers you want out of your leadoff hitter. Actually, among all leadoff hitters Ellsbury ranks towards the bottom in the league.

However, yesterday's heroics could be the spark that ignites Ellsbury the rest of the way.

Coming into the ninth inning the Sox trailed 5-2. The Sox rallied in a wild one to cut things to 5-3 with 2 outs and the bases loaded. That's when Ellsbury stepped to the plate to face Indians closer Chris Perez. Perez threw three pitches then left the game with an injury prompting Indians manager Terry Francona to bring in reliever Joe Smith. Ellsbury lined his first pitch into the left-centerfield gap for a two-run double to cap off the "Memorial Miracle" and send the Sox to a 6-5 win.

Check out the walk-off winner here.

“I’ve never been in that situation [with an injured pitcher],” said Ellsbury, who has four walkoff hits in his career, three of those against Cleveland and two against Smith. “But I know the mind-set in that situation is to throw a strike. I figured I’d be aggressive if I got my pitch."

Sox manager John Farrell spoke about his scuffling leadoff hitter after the win, “Hopefully it gives [Ellsbury] a boost of confidence.” Adding, "he gets the key hit of the day with the game-winner, so I hope this has a carryover affect.”

If the Red Sox hope to make a playoff push come September they will need a confident and clutch Ellsbury leading the way.

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