Morning Sports Update

‘He’s pretty special to watch’: Rafael Devers’s ‘unreal’ talent is impressing teammates

"Us humans, we hit line drives the other way. He hits homers the other way with two strikes."

Rafael Devers
Rafael Devers during the Sunday Red Sox win over the Mariners. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Tonight at 9 p.m., the Celtics are in San Francisco to face the Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. The series is tied 2-2.

On Sunday, the Red Sox defeated the Mariners 2-0 thanks to a Rafael Devers two-run home run in the eighth inning.

Also on Sunday, the Revolution defeated Sporting Kansas City 2-1, with Emmanuel Boateng scoring the winning goal in the 87th minute.

The power of Devers: With the Red Sox locked in a 0-0 struggle in Seattle on Sunday, Boston turned to the player who has been a difference-maker all season.

With one swing of the bat, Devers gave the Red Sox the lead for good.

Granted, it wasn’t exactly on a missed spot from Mariners relief pitcher Paul Sewald, whose 93.7 mph fastball on an 0-2 count was well outside of the strike zone.


Yet Devers, who currently holds a .335 batting average with a .978 OPS, swung away, belting the ball for an opposite field home run.

“The pitch was closer than you think, and I was able to hit it out of the ballpark,” Devers told reporters. “When I saw the pitch, I was trying to do my best to get on base and help the team. Luckily, the ball just went out.”

Devers was asked if he realized how difficult hitting a pitch like that out for a home run really is.

“Everything here in the Major Leagues is hard,” Devers replied. “Just trying to make an adjustment pitch by pitch and trying to see the ball and hit the ball. Baseball is about momentum.”

Boston manager Alex Cora had a little more perspective on the home run.

“Unreal,” Cora said. “You have to be perfect to hit a ball like that. He was for that swing. That’s why sometimes we talk about him being patient, controlling the zone. You cannot take away his aggressiveness. And he can do that with bad pitches. Two-strike approach, he went the other way. Us humans, we hit line drives the other way. He hits homers the other way with two strikes.”


Of course, Devers only got a chance to bat in the inning after Rob Refsnyder was hit by a pitch. Refsnyder could only speculate at his teammates’s power.

“It’s unbelievable what he did,” he said of Devers. “Fastball outside, he takes it to left field with true spin. He’s one of the best hitters in all of baseball. He’s pretty special to watch.”

As for Devers, who enjoyed some soft-serve ice cream during his postgame press availability, he said he’s looking forward to coming back to Seattle.

“Yeah, it feels great, even more after this kind of road trip,” Devers explained. “I don’t think we come back here anymore this year, but I hope the [ice-cream] machine is still here next year.”

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