The Red Sox have hustle, drive, and the speed to turn singles into doubles. They make great contact with the ball offensively and field balls easily. The fans know a win is possible the minute this 2013 team hits the field, yet there is still one factor standing between exceptional skill and a win.
In ALDS game one against the Tampa Rays, the Sox played a sound game. There was just one more additive to the game, which they needed and received: momentum. The magic of overcoming inertia and thus creating momentum is what changes the atmosphere of any sport. Momentum, as I feel I spoke about all season, is crucial to winning. An action has to kick off that momentum: this is a catalyst. The catalyst may be subtle or blatant. Nevertheless, the catalyst turns the tides and makes a win possible. The catalyst during this game was one Will Myers, a right fielder for the Tampa Rays; a botched play in the bottom of the fourth inning lead to David Ortiz earning a ground-rule double placing Dustin Pedroia in scoring position at third base. In that moment, the switch was flipped, and the Red Sox knew they had the physical and psychological advantage. They knew Pedroia and Ortiz, among many others, would score. Fans knew we had the Rays exactly where we wanted them, with their backs against the wall, winning the game 12-2.
It is a beautiful thing when a catalyst like this opens the game up in such a big way. Fans saw this happen during the regular season in other high scoring games. One batter or two; get a series of men on base and as they say, the hits just keep on coming (but, of course, in a good way!) It is magical when it happens. Then during games where Boston squeaks by, or worse, loses, fans wonder where the hit parade went. It is all because no one created that magic moment, that catalyst to clinch the win.
I look forward to more catalyzing tonight at Fenway Park.