Did Tony Renda Just Have the Coolest Debut in Red Sox History?

Between midseason acquisitions, the trade deadline, and a million roster moves, it feels like the Red Sox roster is playing a very big game of Round Robin lately. Ian Kinsler joined the team and then went on the DL. Chris Sale, Steven Wright, and Eduardo Rodriguez are all sidelined, as are Blake Swihart and Rafael Devers. Tzu Wei Lin has been brought up and down from Pawtucket so many times he might as well be trapped in a revolving door.

In short: it’s a pretty confusing, albeit great time to be a Red Sox fan. You’re just not exactly sure who you’re rooting for in any given game.

In last night’s heroic comeback series-sweeping win, for example, the winning run was scored by Tony Renda, who was brought in as a pinch-runner for Sandy Leon, who singled to start the 10th inning rally. He was called up from Pawtucket when brand-new second-baseman Ian Kinsler was placed on the DL. Last night’s pinch-running appearance was his Boston Red Sox debut.

When Andrew Benintendi hit a walk-off single a few minutes later, Renda dove headfirst into home plate. Final score: 5-4. Series, swept.

In a delicious twist of fate, Renda was one of the four players the Reds received from the Yankees for closer Aroldis Chapman back in 2015. Yes, the same Aroldis Chapman who blew the game for the Yankees last night.

Tony Renda’s debut may be one of the most unique in franchise history. I haven’t checked, but the chances are slim that any other Red Sox player has ever scored the walk-off run while making his debut as a pinch-runner. What an epic way to get started.


Photo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

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