Red Sox

Kyle Schwarber celebrates routine force out after committing earlier error

Learning a new position mid-season isn't always easy.

Kyle Schwarber
Kyle Schwarber of the Boston Red Sox celebrates a play after making a previous error against the Tampa Bay Rays during Game 3 of the American League Division Series. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

For Kyle Schwarber, routine plays at first base can be a big deal.

After all, Schwarber never played first before arriving in Boston. When he returned from a hamstring injury, his consistent bat was crucial in the Red Sox’ lineup, so finding him a comfortable position was essential.

Schwarber is getting better, but he isn’t perfect yet. Fortunately, his relatable attempts to try something completely new have endeared himself to Red Sox fans. With nobody out in the top of the fourth inning, Schwarber charged and scooped up a ground ball by Nelson Cruz and shoveled it to Nathan Eovaldi — a routine play for an experienced first baseman.

Schwarber, who does not have the benefit of that experience, was relieved by his success and threw his arms up in the air sarcastically, pumping his fist. When Red Sox fans roared their approval — some standing to applaud — Schwarber tipped his cap, grinning broadly.

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Why was he so pleased? Earlier in the game, Schwarber had trouble with the same play.

Schwarber expected reps at first base when he arrived in Boston.

“For me, I view myself as a pretty good athlete,” Schwarber told reporters in July, before he began his rehab. “I’m not a guy that’s going to shy away from something. I just want to be able to go out there and make sure you have the basics down. I know that, obviously, there’s a sense of urgency here where the club’s at.”

The Red Sox picked up Schwarber for his hitting and have been thrilled with their acquisition. On Sunday, he came through once again by mashing a solo homer to start the Red Sox’ scoring.

The Red Sox and Rays were tied entering the ninth inning.

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