By John Hickey
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 at 12:17 pm in 2013 regular season.
It won’t be the most clutch home run Seth Smith has ever produced or even the longest he’ll ever hit.
But Tuesday’s homer in the fourth inning of Boston’s Alfredo Aceves is likely to go down as the hardest Smith has ever hit, even if Smith himself doesn’t think that’s necessarily so.
It was a cold, wet night in Fenway Park, and the wind was blowing in from right center. So Smith’s laser, hit on the first pitch from Aceves Smith saw, cut through the Boston night like a meteor, undeterred by routine hindrances like wet and wind to land in the farthest reaches of the Boston bullpen in right-center.
“The amazing thing about that home run,’’ third baseman Josh Donaldson said, “wasn’t that Seth hit it. It’s that anyone hit it to that spot on a night like last night. The reaction in the dugout was just shock.’’
Coco Crisp, who played center plenty during his time with the Red Sox and who was patrolling that area Tuesday when the Red Sox were up, said he was “pretty impressed.’’
“That’s a tough place to get the ball out under normal conditions,’’ he said. “He squared that bad boy up.’’
Jerry Blevins, who was sitting in the A’s bullpen trying to duck the rain and the wind when the ball was hit out, was another who was suitably impressed.
“You shouldn’t be able to hit one out there when things are regular, let alone when they are as bad as they were last night. That’s a really good hitter getting a really good hack at the ball. That shows some special power.’’
Third base coach Mike Gallego, who waved Smith around the bases after the blast made the score 8-0 en route to a 13-0 final in a game shortened to seven innings by the rain and wind, said “that was a big boy blast.’’
““It was very impressive,’’ Gallego said. “Seth was the talk of the clubhouse after the game for that one.’’
As for Smith himself, he would not go so far as to say it was the hardest he’d ever hit a ball.
“I knew it was going to get past (center fielder Jacoby) Ellsbury,’’ he said. “And when you get one that close to the wall, you want it to be out.’’
It was, even on a night when such things were difficult to believe.