Victorino to bat righty the rest of the way
BOSTON -- Right fielder Shane Victorino, invaluable to the Red Sox all season, has been mired in a slump for the first five games of the American League Championship Series (2-for-21, nine strikeouts).
In Game 5 he thought that batting left-handed -- something he hardly did at all over the last three months of the season -- might help.
It didn't, so he indicated that he will stay on the right side for the rest of the postseason.
"I've faced [Game 5 starter Anibal] Sanchez so many times in Miami, and I've had success. I thought maybe I would try it," Victorino said. "It's just hard. I haven't done it in so long. I felt comfortable, and I saw the ball, but the fact is, where the swing is at, I thought I was trying to rush to get everything. I'm not saying it's any better on the right side, but I'm going to focus on hitting righty, just ride it out and focus on that."
The Red Sox won't argue. Victorino was far better as a right-handed hitter this season (.309, 12 homers, .874 OPS in 303 plate appearances) than lefty (.274, three homers, .706 OPS in 229 plate appearances).
At the beginning of August, he started hitting primarily right-handed because of weakness in his left hamstring.
He has remained in the No. 2 spot in the batting order throughout his ALCS slump.
Could that change?
"There's been some thought to that," said manager John Farrell. "But to the point of making a change, we haven't gotten to that point yet."