Top 5 most memorable moments of the 2015 Red Sox season.
Jorge Camargo Contributing Writer
Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe
Another season, another losing year. The Red Sox finished in last place for the third time in the last four years, but this season was considerably more enjoyable than the previous ones. Fueled by rookie magic from Eduardo Rodriguez, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox managed to turn a hell of a team into one of the weirdest and most fun-to-watch baseball squads of the year. The season ended almost a week ago, so it is time to number the best moments of the year. Believe it or not, it was hard for me to only choose five moments from this year, so here are some honorable mentions that couldn't make the list:
1. Red Sox turn double-play to end 19-inning game at Yankee Stadium. It's always fun to beat the Yankees, but it's even better when you do it at their own stadium, on the first rivalry game of the season and it takes 19 innings to accomplish it.
2. Mookie Betts steals a home run from Bryce Harper, hits a ding dong over the Green Monster and steals two bases in less than three innings.
3. Brock Holt hits for the cycle, becomes first Red Sox player to do it since 1996.
4. The world meets BBC. This is not an exact moment, but it was worth mentioning that we got introduced to the BBC this season. For those of you who maybe don't know what does BBC stands for, it is Bradley, Betts and Castillo: The best outfield in baseball.
Now, let's get to the actual top 5.
5. Eduardo Rodriguez Major League debut. At the time of Rodriguez's debut, the Red Sox were more than doomed. The plan for Boston was to call up their #4 prospect and had him pitch his Major League debut, so they could use him in case he was needed later on the season. However, Rodriguez threw one of the best pitching perfomances of the year, and maybe the best Red Sox debut ever. He only gave up three hits in 7.2 innings of work while striking out seven batters. Rodriguez threw 105 pitches, 68 of them being strikes. The Red Sox were lacking an ace, but Rodriguez pitched like one.
4. Red Sox retire Pedro Martinez's number. Words can't even begin to describe Pedro's impact on Red Sox history. A few days after his Hall of Fame induction, the team held a ceremony to retire his number with some old friends like Jason Varitek, Nomar Garciaparra, Trot Nixon, Tim Wakefield, Carlton Fisk, Carl Yastrzemski and Curt Schilling tagging along. The only thing missing was Ted Williams' frozen body . At the time of the ceremony, the Red Sox were going through a rough patch, but this cleared our minds of everything that was going wrong with the team. It was an afternoon full of flashbacks to an era that changed New England's culture forever.
If you put close attention to the video, at minute 17:34 you'll be able to see Pedro going off script and only speaking from his heart.
3. Betts robs a home run from Chris Davis to earn the final out of Rich Hill's two-hit shutout. Rich Hill's performances were always highlighted by historic numbers, but this time Mookie Betts' defensive skills stole the show. In his third game of the season, Hill allowed a leadoff hit in the bottom half of the 1st, but the Orioles went hitless against him until the 9th inning. With Manny Machado at second base and the American League home run leader at the plate, Baltimore was looking to avoid the two-hit shutout. Chris Davis hit a long fly ball to right field that looked like it was going out, but then came the rookie. Betts stole a home run from Davis to end the game and allow Hill to have a complete game shutout. I've been a Red Sox fan for more than 15 years and I can't remember a catch like that to end a game.
2. David Ortiz hits his 500th career home run. Big Papi had one of the slowest season starts of his career and got everyone wondering if he was done. Since Ortiz turns 40 this November, it wasn't crazy to start thinking who was going to be the 2016 DH for the Red Sox, but Big Papi proved us wrong, as usual. Soon enough he began his quest for 500 home runs, something that at the beginning of the season seemed unrealistic for this year. Ortiz was standing at 498 career homers when the Red Sox were playing the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 12th, but he belted a three-run shot in the top half of the first, With just one more to go, he entered the 500 club in his third at-bat of the game.
1. Don Orsillo salutes Red Sox Nation one last time. Whenever we talk about the greatest Red Sox moments during the regular season since 2001, there has been one constant through it all: Don Orsillo's voice. With unforgettable moments like the pizza guy or calls like "Boston this is for you"", Don Orsillo gave us a reason to continue watching the Red Sox when everything was going downhill. We all know what went down with NESN and Orsillo during this season, so let's not get into that. During the Red Sox last regular season Orsillo addressed Red Sox Nation for one last time and players came out of the dugout to tip their caps to him. The image of Jerry Remy crying while Orsillo is saying goodbye will be in my mind forever. There's no official footage online of his words, but our friend Jared Carrabis from Barstool Sports put together a tribute to him that's worth watching. Click in this link to watch it.
You'll be more than missed, Don Orsillo.
What's your top 5 of the season? Leave your comments below and don't forget to follow us on Twitter at @RedSoxLife and once you're there, follow me at @iamjorgecamargo for more Red Sox stuff.