David Ortiz had already come up big. Big Papi's three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh had lifted the Red Sox back into Thursday's American League Championship Series Game 5 after they had trailed, 7-0.
Now, in the bottom of the ninth, Ortiz came to bat again. With the score tied, 7-7, and the Rays' infield shifted toward the right side of the diamond to defend the Sox slugger, Ortiz showed he will do anything to help his team win. Even bunt.
There was one out already, and Ortiz knew his team needed a baserunner. He took the first pitch for a ball, and then a second for a called strike. And then he did the unthinkable, attempting to bunt the next pitch from J.P. Howell down the third-base line where there was no defender.
The bunt went foul, but the message was clear. Big Papi would do whatever it took to help his team stay alive in the 2008 ALCS.
He struck out swinging on the next pitch, but Kevin Youkilis followed with a single and went to second on a throwing error. Then, after Jason Bay was walked, J.D. Drew provided the game-winning hit over Gabe Gross' head in right.