Xander Bogaerts

Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

Xander Bogaerts drilled by 99 mph fastball, sounds worried about a repeat of 2017

John Tomase
July 31, 2018 - 11:44 pm

The diagnosis sounded positive: right hand contusion, X-rays negative.

The look on Xander Bogaerts' face suggested otherwise.

Drilled in the hand by a Seranthony Dominguez fastball in the ninth inning of a 3-1 loss to the Phillies, Bogaerts spent several minutes with the training staff before staying in the game.

While some would take that as a good sign, Bogaerts couldn't help but flash back to last July against the Rays, when a Jacob Faria fastball caught him flush on the hand. Bogaerts remained in that game for half an inning before departing with was diagnosed as -- you guessed it -- "right hand contusion, X-rays negative," and his season was never quite the same.

Batting .308 with an .818 OPS that day, he hit .232 with a .661 OPS thereafter, which might explain his somber mood on Tuesday night.

"Right away," he said when asked if he thought of Tampa. "This was a bit harder. This guy was throwing hard. I wasn't expecting him to do that."

Bogaerts had no chance to escape the 99.1 mph fastball, which ran up and into him.

"As soon as I got hit, I was like, 'I can't believe it,'" Bogaerts said. "It happens. It's part of the game. If I wouldn't have fouled off those first two pitches I wouldn't have gotten hit, but it's part of the game. We'll see how I feel over the next few days."

Bogaerts sounded dejected. He's hitting .275 with an .855 OPS and is one of the more dangerous hitters in the Red Sox lineup.

"I mean, it is what it is," he said. "I can't go back in time and un-hit myself. He already did it. We lost the game. At least I got on base and we had a chance to try to do something there. It would have been good if we'd tied it or won the game."

Bogaerts will ice and follow the instructions of the training staff, but he can't help but compare it to what he endured last year, when his availability remained constant, but his production nosedived.

"Last year, I think it was kind of the same thing," he said. "I don't want that feeling again."

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