By Marvin A Azrak Few gave these Bosox a chance, as even their analytics team said they would get 86 wins in 2021 but not necessarily make the playoffs, yet here this team is now four wins away from a World Series berth, with their latest triumph coming against the reigning American League champions in the 100 win Tampa Bay Rays, with a stunning 3-1 upset in the American League Division series. To reflect on how simply gratifying this is for Red Sox nation, we need to take a look at how they got here.
Game1: Red Sox 0 Rays 5
Nelson Cruz went deep off the “C” ring, and the Shane Mcclanan pitching set the tone for a Rays pitching masterpiece staff by going five scoreless, but Randy Arozerena stole the show by not only going deep but stealing home as well in the game one win.
The first order of businesses was too chase Bosox starter Eduardo Rodriguez , and it happened, with him going 1.2 frames, allowing two runs on two hits, and two walks.
In the third, Nelson Cruz went deep to left before a Randy bomb in the fifth increase the lead to 4-0.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox offense was dormant against a Tampa pitching staff, beginning with Shane Mcclanahan, who went five scoreless innings, and although he allowed five hits, he didn’t walk anybody making Boston earn their base runners. JT Chargios and David Robertson worked the last couple of innings, before the play of the game arrived in the bottom of the seventh. Standing third, Randy realized that not only was Bosox pitcher Nick Pivetta wasn’t paying any attention to him but nobody was covering third base, allowing him an opportunity to break for home, which he did stealing it successfully.
JP Feyersein would work the last couple of innings, to lock down the shutout win.
The Rays were also seen eating popcorn mid game with Randy rubbing it in to Boston by eating his bag on the field. Tampa also ordered champagne to Boston after this win.
Game2: Red Sox 14 Rays 6
When Joran Luplow took Chris Sale deep in the first to give Tampa Bay a 5-2 lead, it seemed like the Rays had taken complete control of the series. But an offensive explosion out of the Red Sox evened this series, as Xander Bogarts, Alex Verdugo, and Enrique Hernandez went deep to tie the game. In the sixth, JD Martinez clobbered a three-run bomb to give the Red Sox an 8-5 lead. Tanner Houck was splendid for Boston, going five innings of one run ball in relief of Sale, only allowing a solo bomb to Ji Man Choi that brought Tampa Bay to within 8-6. Boston would tack on runs in the eighth inning, including a two run bomb by Rafael Devers, increasing the lead to 11-6. In the ninth, three more Red Sox runs would turn this into a rout, and even the series at a game apiece as it heads to raucous Fenway Park in Boston.
GAME3: Rays 4 Red Sox 6
In a game of the year candidate,
Nathan Evoldi started for the Red Sox, and continued his postseason success by going five innings of two run ball, only allowing a two run bomb to Austin Meadows in the first.
As for the Bosox bats, Kyle Schwarber would leadoff the Red Sox half of the first with a HR which would only be a prelude of things to come in the third inning when Boston went ahead on RBI knocks by Enrique Hernandez, and Rafael Devers. Enrique would make it 7 for 7 in the fifth with a solo shot giving Boston an insurance run at 4-2. But the Rays wouldn’t go away, and even the game in the eighth when their two rookies in Wander Franco, and Randy Arozerena delivered with a HR and an RBI double to tie the game. The contest would go onto the extras, before the drama picked up again in the 13th inning when a Kevin Kiermier line drive to left field, kicked off the wall and deflected off of Renfroe and into the stands causing some confusion. After review, the umps called it a double putting men on second and third with two outs for Mike Zunnino, before Nick Pivetta stranded them both, and put a capper on his four scoreless innings performance with a strikeout.
When Boston came to bat, all it took were three batters before Christian Vazquez deposited one into the Green Monster for a walk off two run HR lifting the Red Sox to a 6-4 win in a game that took over five hours to complete.
GAME4: Rays 5 Red Sox 6
On Christopher Columbus Day, and the day of Boston Marathon, a “Marathon Monday” crowd filled a sold-out practically capacity filled Fenway Park, and got their money’s worth with the Red Sox walking off the 100 win Rays for the second straight night 6-5 sending them home packing for a long winter while they will play for a spot in the World Series.
Boston seemed to have the game and the series for that matter well in hand at first, as a Rafael Devers three run bomb, an RBI double by Alex Verdugo, and an RBI single by JD Martinez had Boston up 5-0 after three innings of play. But in the fifth, an RBI groundout by Austin Meadows got the Rays on the scoreboard. In the sixth, hotshot rookie Wander Franco went deep for a two run blast that brought Tampa Bay within two. But in the eighth, doubles by Mike zuinnio, Kevin Kiermaier, and Randy Arozerena evened the game at five. But in the ninth, the Red Sox dashed the Rays hopes of forcing a game five at the Trop once and for all, keeping their cinderella story going with an Enrique Hernandez sac fly that followed a Christian Vazquez single, a successful sacrifice bunt by Christian Arroyo, and a single by Travis Shaw setting up the knockout blow.
Up next for a Red Sox team that has defied all odds by going 5-1 since their final series of the regular season are the Houston Astros who dispatched the White Sox in a rather uneventful ALDS 6-1, 9-4, 6-12, 10-1 and are in the ALCS for a fifth straight season.
PREDICTION: Astros in 6.
This Red Sox team has the potential of doing what the 2018 team did and win it all. They have the manager in Alex Cora(Who has never lost a playoff series), and the pitching staff in Chris Sale, Nathan Evoldi, and Eduardo Rodriguez. What they lost with Mookie Betts they’re getting right now with Hernandez, and what they lost with David, Steave Pearce, Joe Kelly, Craig Kimbrel, they’re now getting with Nick Pivetta, Hunter Renfroe, Tanner Houck, Garret Richards, and Josh Taylor.
That being said, I’ve been saying it will be a Dodgers-Astros World Series since the All-Star break, and I’m sticking with it.