It’s about winning the day for the Red Sox. They have seven games left after Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Yankees: Sunday’s finale, an off day on Monday, and two road series against the Orioles and Nationals.
Despite Christian Arroyo’s availability, Saturday was José Iglesias’s 10th straight start at second base and 11th straight overall. That despite Iglesias being ineligible for the postseason because the Sox reacquired him after Sept. 1.
“I mean, he’s part of the roster, obviously,” Cora said of Arroyo, who has gotten just seven plate appearances since July 18 due first to a hamstring injury, then a bout with COVID-19. “We’ll use him in certain situations, but right now, Iglesias is playing good defense and putting together good at-bats. I think there’s too much talk about the future, right? And to be honest with you, the future is today.
“We’ll take it day by day, but we cannot get ahead of ourselves in this situation.”
Iglesias went 1 for 4 on Saturday. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games, but also struck out as the potential tying run in the ninth against Aroldis Chapman. Iglesias is batting .364 with a .997 OPS in 16 games since the Sox signed the free agent on Sept. 6.
If the Sox make the postseason, they still want him around as a veteran presence.
“We’ll talk about that when or if we get there,” Cora said. “We were talking earlier, and have to take it day by day. He’ll be here today. He’s starting second base. And then that’s the mindset we’d have. But if we get there, it would be great to have him around. I think what he brings to the equation in the clubhouse, it means a lot. It helps a lot of guys, and he’s a veteran that understands how to win ball games.”
Tests on Kevin Plawecki good
Kevin Plawecki was hit in the foot by a Chapman fastball in the ninth inning. Cora pinch-ran for him, but Plawecki said he was fine. X-rays came back negative.
“Obviously sore,” Plawecki said. “But we’ll get some treatment tomorrow. It shouldn’t be anything we’re worried about. Dodged a bullet, I guess you could say.”
Plawecki has been a huge part both behind the plate and at the dish. The Sox catcher was 2 for 2 with a walk and his third home run of the season. He is hitting .289 in 168 plate appearances, with a respectable .748 OPS.
“Coming into the season, I know he had a good offensive season last year, but the quality of the at-bats this year are great,” Cora said. “He went into a little bit of a rut a few weeks ago. He was very aggressive, but he went back to controlling the strike zone. And he’s putting together good swings.”
The news was less promising on reliever Josh Taylor, who was unavailable due to a back issue. Cora revealed that after the game, as well as that Taylor will have an MRI on Sunday.
Rafael Devers’s three-run homer off Gerrit Cole on Friday was the third baseman’s 10th three-run homer of the season, which leads the majors, and his team-leading 35th. The only other Red Sox with 35-plus homers in a season prior to turning 25 are Hall of Famers Jim Rice (39 in 1977) and Ted Williams (37 in 1941 and 36 in 1942) . . . DJ LeMahieu did not play due to a hip/groin issue. He is day to day. Rougned Odor got the start at third base . . . The Red Sox held their 12th annual Run to Home Base, a 9K run and 5K charity run/walk that starts and ends at Fenway Park. The event supports veterans, service members, and families impacted by traumatic events. The Red Sox honored servicemen and women before the game; Master Sergeant Yoshema Bryant, a retired 21-year veteran of the United States Air Force, threw out the first pitch to former Sox outfielder Trot Nixon.