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What They Were Thinking

How the Red Sox put on the shift

The shift was on Monday for Orioles first baseman Chris Davis.

Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

The shift was on Monday for Orioles first baseman Chris Davis.

Every Sunday, Boston Globe photographer Stan Grossfeld asks the subject of one of his photos to explain what’s happening in the shot.

Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias and pitcher Clay Buchholz and Orioles third base coach Bobby Dickerson explain what they thought when the Red Sox shifted their infield to face Chris Davis during the Fenway Park opener.

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Iglesias: “I’m thinking just try to cover the most space possible. We’ve played that way before with him. Everybody knows he’s a pull hitter so we play the shift. It’s kind of uncomfortable. You’re there by yourself in the middle of nowhere but it’s Fenway, we’ll be all right. I’m already shifted so I don’t have to go far to my glove side so I’m taking a little step towards third if I have to cover that ground. You cover the most (ground) possible. It’s a big space. I wasn’t worried. (If he bunts) I’ll make the play. Absolutely. Because I can. Plus Bucky is a pretty good athlete. He can make those plays too.”

Buchholz: - “Well, we’re sort of playing the numbers game with it. We’ve talked to Butter (Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield) about it a lot. He actually told everyone if they don’t want that to happen they can just wave it off and play regular. But they do that for a reason. I’ve seen it factor into David Ortiz’s at-bats a lot. I’ve just got to make a pitch, that’s all that’s going on right there. Davis is a lefty. He’s quick in there so I’m trying to throw sinkers away and let him roll over on them. I don’t think he’s going to bunt on me; the guy’s got four homers and like 18 RBI’s in the first week. I think he’s trying to do some damage with the bat. It’s either you win or he does. It’s basically 50-50. After you release the ball you can’t do anything about it anyway so hopefully he doesn’t hit it hard.

Dickerson: “It looks like back when you didn’t have enough guys to play. You’d play straight base and close off left field. That’s the manager and the hitter (deciding whether to bunt) and not me. He can though; he has the ability to do it. It’s a lot easier to think about doing than actually doing. Major league pitching, it’s tough. That pitcher is trying to get you out. The whole idea sometimes with something like that is to get the hitter out of his comfort zone.’’

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