Brett Gardner drew a walk off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning of Friday night’s 6-4 loss. Big deal, right?
Actually, yes. Gardner saw seven pitches in that plate appearance. So when he came to the plate tonight, he had a sense of what to expect.
â€œI knew going up there that he would give me some fastballs to hit,â€ Gardner said. â€œJust having confidence, I knew I saw his stuff pretty good.”
After going down 0-2, he fouled off two fastballs. He then took two pitches before Papelbon resorted to a split-finger fastball. Gardner didn’t get much of it, but it was just enough to win the game.
At the end of the night, I went over to ask Justin Christian what he thought. He has played with Gardner for three seasons.
“All heart,” Christian said. “He knows what he can do and he knows what he can’t. He’s a real competitive kid. I was sitting there watching and I knew he’d get a hit.”
Gardner is 3 for 21 since he showed up. But you have to admit, it’s been a pretty darn interesting 3 for 21.