The Green Monster looms large at Fenway Park — and in baseball history. But Marwin Gonzalez made it look small.
Marwin Gonzalez keeps coming up with monster postseason hits for the Houston Astros. (Photo by F. Carter Smith.)
Noel & Marwin Gonzalez
Marwin Gonzalez knows how to come up in big moments for the Houston Astros. He's been doing it for a long time. (Photo by F. Carter Smith.)
The Astros are one of the most tight-knit teams in baseball. (Photo by F. Carter Smith.)
The Houston Astros line up before the home opener against the Orioles. (Photo by F. Carter Smith.)
BOSTON — The stunning shot sails right at the Green Monster — and keeps soaring right over baseball’s most imposing monument. It smacks into the green National Car Rental sign, which is a good five feet above the 37-foot-tall monster itself.
Marwin Gonzalez hasn’t just sent a jolt through Fenway Park. He’s shaken up another postseason series.
Gonzalez’s two-run homer will give the Astros, who trailed 2-0 after one inning, a 4-2 lead and set the stage for the Sunday night madness to come. This is what Gonzalez does. The only surprise is that people are still surprised by it.
Of course, any time someone completely clears the Green Monster, it’s unexpected.
For Marwin, it’s another big-time October moment. This is the guy who hit the home run that changed the World Series, the Game 2 shot off Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning that tied the game just as the Dodgers look poised to take a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Marwin wouldn’t let the Boston fans or Red Sox pitcher David Price get comfortable in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series either. His swing sneered at the legend of the Green Monster, too.
But then, the Monster bit back.
In the bottom of the inning, Gonzalez — who played the Green Monster like an old pro at it in Game 1 — crashed off the giant wall while trying to make a catch. This old wall has about as much give as a charging rhino. Gonzalez ends up prone on the ground, head in his hands.
The Astros’ super utility star lay there for several moments as fellow outfielder George Springer crouched over him with concern and Houston manager A.J. Hinch came out. Gonzalez would eventually wave everyone off and stay in the game.
You don’t get to where Gonzalez is, the player who just won’t let everyone forget him even amongst all the stars in the Astros universe, without being able to take a hit. The 29-year-0ld Gonzalez will be a free agent this winter — with Scott Boras as his ultra-aggressive agent.
His Monster moment will sure make for a nice selling clip. Just add it to his greatest October hits.