David Ortiz, arguably the greatest Red Sox player of our time, once said:
I’m going to be done when I’ve decided that I’m done.
I don’t think that could be more accurate for this 2017 Red Sox team. This is a team that has struggled, triumphed, and competed until the very final out. This is a team that has more extra inning runs that any other MLB team. They fight tooth and nail to earn every win. And the playoffs will be no different. They will not be done until they have another ring on their finger.
The retirement of David Ortiz could have been a bust to the Red Sox morale, but instead, they rallied around each other and gave the fans something to be excited about. That rally will hopefully lead the Red Sox to what will be their second American League Eastern Division title in two years, something the Boston Red Sox have never done before.
But it’s not like there are any huge Blockbuster hitters on the team. In fact, only 13 members of the Red Sox have hit home runs this season. Technically LHP David Price has the best batting average on the team this season, hitting a 1.000 after his single in last week’s game against the Cincinnati Reds!
Pitchers and hitters alike have battled in every play and in every game this season to pull out 91 wins so far. Xander Bogaerts alone has hit 6 triples, Mookie Betts is 3rd in MLB for doubles (46), and Chris Sale is dominating MLB in strikeouts at a whopping 308. He is only the second Red Sox pitcher to get over 300 strikeouts in one season, second to Pedro Martinez (313). However, if Sale pitches on Sunday versus the Astros and throws 6 strikeouts, he will pass Pedro Martinez for the most strikeouts in a single season by a Red Sox pitcher.
Do the Red Sox face any challenges in the postseason? Sure. The reigning AL Cy Young award winner, Rick Porcello, has 17 losses on the season and the Red Sox don’t have any real long ball hitters (they rank 27th in the MLB in home runs at 163). But have these challenges stopped the Red Sox from dominating in the past? Are they going to keep the Red Sox from a memorable playoff push? Absolutely not! This team has shown time and time again their resilience and perseverance.
If the Red Sox can stay happy and healthy, their spirit and ambition will carry them all the way to the top of the MLB!