Xander Bogaerts lived up to his walk-up song — and more — with walk-off grand slam

"He probably deserved to be an All-Star, too."

Xander Bogaerts
Xander Bogaerts shouts while rounding the bases after hitting grand slam in the 10th inning. –AP Photo/Winslow Townson

“X Gon’ Give It To Ya.”

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts lived up to the title of his walk-up song Saturday afternoon. After the Fenway Park speakers blasted a 10-second snippet of DMX’s 2003 track, “X Gon’ Give It To Ya,” Bogaerts delivered against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 25-year-old rocked reliever Chris Rowley’s  87 mph four-seam fastball just over the centerfield wall for a walk-off grand slam, lifting the Red Sox over the Blue Jays, 6-2, in the 10th inning. The win was Boston’s 11th in its past 12 games.

“As soon as he hit it, I knew we won the game,” second baseman Brock Holt said.

Advertisement

Bogaerts actually has two options for his walk-up song — the alternative is “Walk It Talk It” by hip hop trio Migos — but said he was happy with the DJ’s selection for a bases-loaded opportunity in extra innings.

“It was a good time for it,” Bogaerts told reporters after the game. “I have certain spots where I like to hear that. It really helped me. I kind of smiled going up there.”

“It was loud, [too],” he continued. “The stadium was loud. I think he put the music up even louder because I was hearing everything.”

While Holt and manager Alex Cora weren’t surprised by Bogaerts’s performance — and his ability to consistently “give it” to the other team — both also acknowledged the shortstop’s offensive contributions can sometimes be overlooked. The Red Sox lineup already has two more-than-capable, attention-grabbing bats in centerfielder Mookie Betts and designated hitter J.D. Martinez.

“We’ve been talking a lot about Mookie and J.D. and all that stuff, but when you start looking at Xander’s numbers, he probably deserved to be an All-Star, too,” Cora said. “He’s driving the ball, and his on-base percentage is right where it should be, but his slugging percentage is way up. He’s plotting to do damage.”

Advertisement

Bogaerts’s slugging percentage is currently a career-best .518. His OPS is also a career-best .872. He’s on track to eclipse his career-bests in homers and RBI, too.

“I think Xander gets overlooked — a lot,” Holt added. “I think he’s been one of the most underrated players in baseball the last few years. But this year, he’s doing some pretty special things . . . That’s the good thing about this lineup, [when] you got a guy like Bogaerts behind [J.D.]. It’s just lethal.”

After a disappointing second half to the season last year, Bogaerts said he’s tried to be more aggressive in some pitching counts — a tactic that has paid off this year. He’s gotten off to an impressive start with 14 home runs, 25 doubles, and 58 RBI. Saturday’s grand slam was his third of the year.

“It was amazing,” Bogaerts said. “A walk-off homer is different — a walk-off grand slam even more — but it’s a homer and it helped your team win. Running the bases, I didn’t even remember I hit a homer, to be honest. Some guys when they cross third base, they take off their helmet. I mean, I just had my helmet on.”

Whether he realizes it or not, Bogaerts once again proved he’s just as much of a threat as anyone to make the opposing team pay at the plate. Over the course of Boston’s last 10 games, he’s batted 14-for-37 (.378), with 10 runs, 18 RBI, three doubles, two triples, and three home runs.

Advertisement

As DMX says, “X Gon’ Give It To Ya.”