The Red Sox knew they needed a Dave Roberts-type of base stealer, one who could swipe a bag when needed late in the game. He accomplished that three times during the regular season and he did it again in Game 1 of the ALCS Saturday night at Fenway Park.
After Daniel Nava provided the only hit, a one-out single in the bottom of the eighth inning with Boston trailing 1-0, Berry was inserted as a pinch-runner. After Stephen Drew flied out to right field for the second out of the inning, rookie Xander Bogaerts was at the plate when Berry stole second.
Berry was left stranded there as the potential tying run as Bogaerts popped out to shortstop to end the game as Detroit won 1-0.
“I’d rather it be a different situation where I’m not needed, of course,” Berry said. “The score dictates otherwise, but the fact that I was able to get in there and feel comfortable enough and confident enough to get a bag, makes me feel good going forward the next couple of games.”
With Berry on the base paths, Nava had a good feeling something would happen in Boston’s favor.
“I’m glad he came in for me because there’s no shot I’m stealing a base there,” Nava said with a smile. “When he has been brought in, he has stolen bases and you never know when that’s going to pay dividends and it almost did.”