Napoli’s hot streak puts Red Sox one win away from reaching World Series

Mike Napoli is now 5 for his last 9 in the ALCS with two home runs. Credit: Getty Images
Mike Napoli is now 5 for his last 9 in the ALCS with two home runs. Credit: Getty Images

There have been plenty of ups and downs this season at the plate for Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli, but that comes with who he is as a player — one of the streakiest hitters in the game.

This hasn’t changed how manager John Farrell has viewed him as he has constantly stuck with him all season long despite going throw some difficult stretches and finishing fourth in the American League with 187 strikeouts in the regular season.

“He’s put up big numbers for us and along with that comes some strikeouts,” Farrell told reporters following Game 3.  “And those have been present during the series, and all season long.  But when he gets into that stretch run where he’s on the right side of streakiness, he can carry us and he has carried us.  Whether it’s September or back in April for the first five, six weeks of the season.  We can’t turn away from a guy that’s got that in his résumé or his track record just because he’s in a little bit of a downturn.”

Farrell’s faith in Napoli certainly paid dividends this week as he delivered two of the biggest hits in the Red Sox season with his solo home run in Game 3 in their 1-0 win and then another solo home run in Game 5 getting the offense going in their 4-3 win in Game 5 Thursday night.

Napoli entered his at-bat in the seventh inning of Game 3 0-for-6 with six strikeouts in the series, including being benched in Game 2, but he put all that behind him and took a Justin Verlander offering into the left field seats, proving to be the game-winning run and giving the Red Sox a 2-1 series lead at the time.

After a 2-for-4 outing in Game 4’s loss, Napoli was right back at it in Game 5 getting the Red Sox going crushing a Anibal Sanchez pitch 460 feet to dead-center field for a solo home run giving the Sox a 1-0 lead and igniting a three-run second inning. He added a double and single, finishing a triple shy of the first-ever cycle in postseason history.

Going along with his streakiness, after going 0-for-6 before his home run in Game 3, Napoli is now 5 for his last 9 in the series with two home runs and has put the Red Sox offense on his back at the most critical of times.

“I’ve been feeling good all series,” Napoli told reporters. “I can’t really put my finger on it, just going up there trying to give a tough at‑bat every time.  I got some pitches that I could handle.”

With the Red Sox hitting .133 with 43 strikeouts as a team going into Game 3 and .186 with 53 strikeouts going into Game 5, the Red Sox needed a spark offensively and the streaky Napoli provided it, rewarding his manager for sticking with him and putting the club one win away from reaching the World Series.

Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @Hannable84.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Local

New York joins accord to strengthen popular vote…

New York State joined a nationwide effort that would gives the state's 29 electoral votes for president to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

NBA

Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.