Red Sox Take Down The Rays; Advance to ALCS

It finally happened, the Boston Red Sox are advancing to the American League Championship Series. After beating the Yankees in the Wild Card Game, the Red Sox take down the Rays in style to go on. After losing Game 1 in Tampa Bay, Boston clobbered Tampa in Game 2. Games 3 and 4 at Fenway were ones to remember, as Boston walked off in style in both games to win. Tampa Bay, who won 100 games this season, head home early after having an amazing 2021 season.

The 2021 postseason has been one to remember so far. Other than Boston moving on, the Dodgers and Giants have been putting on quite a show in their own series. The Braves and Brewers have also been battling it out in hopes of making it to the World Series. The other American League series, Astros vs White Sox has been interesting to watch as well. Currently, Boston has been the only team to advance to the next round.

The Red Sox Take Down The Rays In Glorious Fashion

After their epic win vs the Yankees on Tuesday night, the Red Sox went down to Tampa Bay to face the Rays. After losing 5-0 in Game 1, Game 2 saw the Red Sox offense explode. Homeruns by five players, including JD Martinez and Xander Bogaerts propelled the Red Sox to a 14-6 victory over the Rays. Following that win, they headed home to where the Fenway Faithful was waiting for them.

Game 3 had a little bit of everything from a ground rule double off of Hunter Renfroe, to Christian Vazquez’s walk off home run in the 13th inning. The momentum from that game continued in Game 4. This game was extremely special to the Red Sox, as it was also Marathon Monday. Before the game, 2013 World Series Champion, Will Middlebrooks took the mound to throw out the first pitch. From there, the offense came to life. After a back and forth battle with Tampa, Kike Hernandez became the hero.

With 2 on and 1 out in the bottom of the 9th, Hernandez had one job as he came up to bat. With Danny Santana on third, all he needed was a single to win the game. On a 0-1 count, Hernandez hit a fly ball to Austin Meadows. As the ball landed in his glove, Santana tagged up. As the throw came to the plate, Santana scored the winning run. Once again, the Red Sox take down the Rays in walk off fashion in Game 4. Now, they wait to see who they will play next.

What’s Next For Boston?

Right now, the Astros are up, 2 games to 1. After being rained out Monday in Chicago, the Astros will look to close out their series vs the White Sox on Tuesday afternoon. If the White Sox win however, then Game 5 will be back in Houston on Wednesday. Houston took games 1 and 2 at Minute Maid Park. Game 3 in Chicago turned into a slugfest for the White Sox, as they held onto one more day in the Postseason. The White Sox look to carry that momentum into game 4. Due to the rainout on Monday, they will take on the Astros on Tuesday afternoon.

If the Astros advance to the ALCS, this will be the third time Boston will face Houston in the playoffs. The first time was in the 2017 ALDS, when Houston won 3 games to 1. The last time was in the 2018 ALCS, which saw the Red Sox beat the Astros 4 games to 1. The last time the Red Sox and White Sox battled in the playoffs was back in 2005. Chicago not only swept Boston in the ALDS, but went onto win their first World Series Championship in 88 years.

The National League Side of Things…

The National League Division series has been one to remember. On one end, you have the Braves and the Brewers. On the other, are the Giants and the Dodgers. Currently, both Atlanta and San Francisco are positioned to win their respective series. Game 4 for these teams will be played on Tuesday, as the Braves look to close it out at home, and the Giants look to end the Dodgers season in Los Angeles.

After Jackie Bradley Jr. and the Brewers beat the Braves in Game 1, Atlanta came back and shut out the Brewers in Games 2 and 3. Now, they are one win away from moving onto the NLCS for the second consecutive year. As for the battle of the West, the Giants are one win away from knocking out the 2020 World Series Champion LA Dodgers. After a 1-0 victory at Dodger Stadium last night, the 2014 World Series Champions are looking to go back to the NLCS for the first time since 2014. The Dodgers are looking to head back to the NLCS and defend their title.

The National League Championship Series will begin on October 16th. Will the Giants and Braves be able to win on Tuesday, or will the Dodgers and Brewers force a game 5? Either way, it will be fun to see these four teams continue the fight this postseason.

The Battle of the East Continues in the ALDS

After the Red Sox took down the Yankees in glorious fashion Tuesday night, the battle of the East continues as the Red Sox head to Tampa Bay to take on the AL East Champion Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay, who led the East with an impressive 100-62 record, will host Boston on Thursday night at the Trop. The other ALDS game will be played at Minute Maid Park, with the Astros hosting the Chicago White Sox. It will make for a very interesting day for baseball. The National League Division Series begins on Friday, with the wild card winning Dodgers facing the Giants, and the Brewers facing the Braves.

Tuesday night was one for the ages, as the Red Sox took down the Yankees, 6-2 at an electric Fenway Park. Nathan Eovaldi and the Red Sox did not disappoint. Eovaldi went 5.1 innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 run, and striking out 8. The Red Sox offense, thanks to Xander Bogaerts and Kyle Schwarber home runs, knocked out Gerrit Cole in the third inning. From there, it was smooth sailing for the Red Sox, as they attacked Yankees pitching. Former Yankee prospect, Garrett Whitlock locked down the win in the ninth to seal the deal.

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The Battle of the East Starts at Tropicana Field

Thursday night’s matchup will be one that will define this best of three series. The Red Sox, coming off their epic win on Tuesday night, will have Eduardo Rodriguez starting game one. The AL East Champion Rays will have rookie Shane McClanahan going up against a red hot Red Sox offense. Both teams have faced each other a lot this past season, with the Rays edging out the Red Sox 11-8 in 2021. Boston, who finished with a 92-70 record, hopes to knock out the Rays in the ALDS. Tampa Bay on the other hand, is looking to advance and get back to the World Series after loosing last season against the Dodgers.

Eduardo Rodriguez will have the ball in game one vs the Rays. This season, he was 13-8 with a 4.74 ERA. In 32 games, 31 starts, he pitched in 157.2 innings with 185 strikeouts. Rodriguez is 0-0 with a 8.10 ERA in 8 postseason games. He’s pitched in 10 innings, with 11 strikeouts The rookie, Shane McClanahan will take the ball for the Rays. He was 10-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 25 games, all starts this year. In 123.1 innings, McClanahan had 141 strikeouts. Last postseason, he made his MLB Debut in Game 1 of the ALDS vs the Yankees. He’s 0-0 with a 8.31 ERA in 4 postseason games. In 4.1 innings, he has struck out 4 batters.

Around The Postseason

The Battle of the Lances begins Thursday afternoon as Houston hosts Chicago in the ALDS. Lance Lynn will have the ball for the White Sox. Houston appointed Lance McCullers Jr for the start. In 2021, Lynn went 11-6 with a 2.69 ERA in 28 starts. In 157 innings, he struck out 176 batters. McCullers Jr went 13-5 in 28 starts this season for Houston. He had a 3.16 ERA in162.1 innings, with 185 strikeouts.

The National League Division Series begins on Friday. The Milwaukee Brewers will be hosting the Atlanta Braves, while the San Francisco Giants will be hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers, who beat the St Louis Cardinals in a pitchers duel, won the Wild Card Game on Wednesday night in walk off fashion. With the score tied 1-1, Chris Taylor drove a 2-1 pitch to left field for a 2 run homerun to knock out the Cardinals.

Red Sox Wild Ride Continues vs The Yankees

After a wild finish to the 2021 Major League Baseball season, Boston’s season will continue against the Yankees in the highly anticipated Wild Card game Tuesday night. This sudden death elimination game will determine who will move onto face the American League East Champion Tampa Bay Rays. Sunday afternoon saw both Boston and New York win their respective games in a thrilling fashion. The Yankees won it on a 1-0 walk off in the ninth, while Boston’s come from behind victory sealed the deal in the nation’s capitol. The Red Sox wild ride to the finish isn’t done just yet. It’s just a matter of time before the next big thing happens.

Red Sox wild

Sunday’s regular season finale was one for the ages. Not only were the Red Sox fighting for a spot in the postseason, but so were the Yankees, Blue Jays and Mariners. Due to the Yankees and Red Sox winning, both the Jays and Mariners were knocked out of the race. This elimination game Tuesday night is going to be one to remember. Gerrit Cole will be on the mound for the Yankees, and Nathan Eovaldi will have the ball for Boston. Fenway will be electric as Boston experiences their first ever Wild Card elimination game. Last time the Red Sox were in the postseason was in 2018, they won the World Series vs the LA Dodgers. For the Yankees, they are looking to go deep into the postseason. Last season, they were eliminated in the American League Division Series against the Rays.

The Ultimate Matchup

Gerrit Cole, in his second season with the Yankees, will get the ball Tuesday night. In 2021, he went 16-8 with a 3.32 ERA in 181.1 innings. In 30 starts this season, Cole had 243 strikeouts. Cole’s postseason record speaks for itself. The 9 year veteran is 8-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 13 postseason games. He has pitched in 84 innings, and recorded 108 strikeouts. Cole will be looking to carry the Yankees to the American League Division Series tomorrow night at Fenway Park. Against the Red Sox this season, he is 2-2 in 4 starts. Cole will be looking for win number 3 against Boston. The Yankees will be looking to advance and take on the Tampa Bay Rays with their ace on the mound Tuesday.

Nathan Eovaldi will be looking to guide the Red Sox to the American League Division Series. Eovaldi has been a work horse for Boston this season, with an 11-9 record in 32 starts. In 182.1 innings, he had a 3.75 ERA with 195 strikeouts. In just six postseason games, all in 2018, Eovaldi has a 2-1 record with 2 holds. He’s pitched in 22.1 innings, with 16 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.61. In four games versus the Yankees in 2021, Eovaldi has a 2-2 record, and will also be looking for win number 3 against the Yankees. The Red Sox will be looking to Nathan to continue Boston’s wild ride as they head into the postseason.

Can Boston’s Wild Ride Go Deep Into The Postseason?

Following a very strange 2020 season that saw the Red Sox go 24-36 in 60 games, Boston looked to 2021 hopeful of making the playoffs. Bringing back manager Alex Cora, and bolstering the roster definitely did help the Red Sox this season. Players like Kike Hernandez and Hunter Renfroe added some much needed defense to the roster. Can Boston’s wild ride of 2021 continue against the Yankees in the Wild Card? This one game playoff will be one that fans will be talking about for quite some time. The 2021 season started strong for the Red Sox. After loosing to the Orioles in the first series, Boston went on a tear, winning 10 straight before loosing to the White Sox.

Red Sox Nation saw a lot happen this season. From being in first place in the division, to injuries and COVID, this team fought through it all. Now, here we are with one game on the line. Can the Red Sox beat the Yankees and head to Tampa for the Division Series? It’s going to be a tough call because of the way the Red Sox have been playing as of late. Granted, we do have a strong team, and they have proven that they are capable of going far. Now, we need Red Sox Nation to show up to Fenway Park ready to cheer on the Red Sox and push them towards the finish line.

Updating and Predicting the AL Wild Card Race

After going 2-4 in their rigorous series with the Rays and White Sox, the Red Sox now hold the second Wild Card spot in the American League, with Toronto holding the first. Boston now sits just one game ahead of the Yankees for the second Wild Card spot, and three games in front of the Athletics and Mariners. The Red Sox will now travel to Seattle to face-off with the Mariners in a series that could have big playoff implications. 

What’s ahead? 

With the Wild Card narrowed down to just the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Athletics, and Mariners, this is what the remaining schedule looks like for those squads. 

Toronto Blue Jays- vs Rays (3), vs Twins (3), @ Rays (3), @ Twins (4), vs Yankees (3), vs Orioles (3)

Boston Red Sox- @ Mariners (3), vs Orioles (3), vs Mets (2), vs Yankees (3), @ Orioles (3), @ Nationals (3)

New York Yankees- Vs Twins (1), @ Orioles (3), vs Indians (3), vs Rangers (3), @ Red Sox (3), @ Blue Jays (3), vs Rays (3)

Oakland Athletics- @ Royals (3), @ Angels (3), vs Mariners (4), vs Astros (3), @ Mariners (3), @ Houston (3)

Seattle Mariners- vs Red Sox (3), @ Royals (3), @ Athletics (4), @ Angels (3), vs Oakland (3), vs Angels (3)

AL West

The Athletics and Mariners are set to meet each other seven times before the end of the season. With the season series between the two at 7-5, these two very well could knock each other out of the Wild Card race. The two teams have been evenly matched this season, so it is unlikely one dominates the other in their remaining seven games. 

The Athletics also draw the unfortunate task of taking on the Houston Astros six times before the end of the season. Houston and Chicago and currently neck and neck to decide who will have home-field advantage for the ALDS. This means there will be no easy games for the Athletics when they see the Astros. 

The Mariners will see their division foe Los Angeles Angels six times before the season ends. In their 12 matchups this season, the Mariners lead the season series 7-5. The Angels have been tough for the Mariners this season, so their six games could be another factor that drops Seattle in the standings. 

The schedule is not in favor of the Mariners and Athletics moving forward. With both teams three games back of the second Wild Card spot, it is unlikely each team can catch up, IF the Red Sox take care of business in their series with the Mariners this week. If the Red Sox can take care of Seattle, Houston will do the rest with Oakland. 

AL East

The AL East is where things get interesting. The Blue Jays have clawed all the way back into things and now hold the number one spot in the Wild Card. Toronto is a team the Red Sox do not want to see. We have seen what the Blue Jays are capable of, beating up the Red Sox by double digit runs a few times this season.

This race will be tight all the way up until playoff time. As I stated in another recent article, the schedule is in the Red Sox favor once again, but they will need to capitalize.

The Blue Jays will play the first place Tampa Bay Rays six times before the end of the season. The Rays are 8-5 against Toronto this season. The Blue Jays will also see the Twins seven times before the end of the season, who have the ability to put up good offensive numbers.

The Yankees will see the Blue Jays and Rays, as well as come to Boston for a three game series. If the Red Sox hold up their end and capitalize on the schedule, they could be shaping up to land that number one spot. The Red Sox will need some help so they don’t have to see Toronto though.

Looking at the Red Sox Wild Card Chase

With 23 games remaining, the Red Sox currently hold one of the two spots in the AL Wild Card. The Red Sox sit a half a game behind the New York Yankees for the top spot. So if the playoffs started right now, the Red Sox would travel to New York for the Wild Card game. 

Rafael Devers homers twice as Red Sox beat Cole, Yankees

The Wild Card is still relatively new in Major League Baseball, as it was first adopted in 1994, and it was changed to the current format in 2011. The Wild Card is played between two non-division winners with the best record in their respective league. 

With the Red Sox being eight games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the division lead with just 23 games left, they would need a lot of help to catch the Rays for the division crown. So realistically, the top Wild Card spot should be what Red Sox fans are rooting for. 

The teams the Red Sox need to keep an eye on are Mariners, Athletics, and Blue Jays. The Mariners currently sit three and a half games behind the Sox for the second Wild Card spot. With Toronto and Oakland each four games back. 

Good news for the Red Sox

The good news for the Red Sox? They again will control their own destiny, which they have for the majority of the season. They had chances to bury the Yankees, as well as build their division lead on Tampa earlier this season, but fell short. This time, falling short is not an option, because that could mean falling out of the playoffs. 

The Red Sox will see both the Mariners and Yankees prior to the season’s end. With series against the Rays, and White Sox also in that span, the Red Sox will need to win these series against the teams hot on their tail for the Wild Card spot. The Sox also need to take care of business against sub .500 teams. Boston will see the 43-92 Baltimore Orioles six times before the end of the season, they will also see 56-80 Washington Nationals three times. Those are nine games the Red Sox need to take advantage of. 

Sox need to dig deep

The Red Sox are facing their most difficult hardship of the season in the middle of their Wild Card push. They have sent 11 players to the COVID-19 related injury list in just one week. 

The Red Sox have stayed afloat, and have won six of their last ten games despite all the absences in their line-up. But it doesn’t get any easier. The next two series for the Red Sox will be the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays, and the AL Central leading Chicago White Sox. 

The Red Sox split the series with Tampa Bay last week, in the heart of their Covid outbreak. So we know it is possible for this team to find ways to win despite being short handed. 

Red Sox Fire Farrell, Varitek Reportedly Interested

The Boston Red Sox fired manager John Farrell today after a five-year stint with red sox firethe team. Seeing the Red Sox fire Farrell comes with mixed emotions from Red Sox Nation.Some fans credit him with the three AL East Divisions the Red Sox win during his tenure. Others, however, point to his last-place finishes in 2014 and 2015. Then there were the early exits from the playoffs this and last year. While Red Sox Nation reacted with mixed emotions to Farrell’s departure, those same fans rejoiced when they learned Jason Varitek reportedly wants to come aboard as the new manager.

 

 

 

According to NESN.com, Varitek has expressed his interest in managing the Red Sox. “Having been a part of the front office and having the ability to still get on the field everywhere that I go, I know I have more impact on the field,” Varitek was quoted as saying in the article. It goes without saying that hiring him would come as a very welcoming move. Varitek, a Red Sox Hall of Famer, was a tenacious Red Sox catcher and on-field leader. His spar with Alex Rodriguez in 2004 is immortalized throughout Boston. He is widely popular throughout New England. In fact, hiring Varitek would be enough to erase the frustrations most fans have in the wake of Farrell’s termination.

The Red Sox Fire Farrell After Five Rollercoaster Seasons

The Red Sox almost fired Farrell in 2015 but his cancer diagnosis likely kept the team from doing so. Regardless, while the Red Sox went on to win the AL East Division in 2016 and 2017, many in Red Sox Nation noticed that the team didn’t play with the zeal seen during the 2013 season. Many of the players have questioned Farrell’s leadership ability in recent months. Other fans have often wondered what Farrell was thinking when he’d start a weak pitcher, or send in an inexperienced hitter to pinch hit. These issues culminated in Farrell’s eventual termination. Personally, I think it’s a smart move. The Red Sox have been a boring team to watch for the last few years, and I think that had a lot to do with the fact that the players aren’t playing with the same enthusiasm that players in Chicago, LA, and Washington play with. Farrell wasn’t an inspiring manager.

Seeing the Red Sox fire Farrell opens up a lot of interesting possibilities for his replacement. Some say Hall of Famer Tony Larussa might come out of retirement and take over. Others say the Red Sox might take a chance on Brad Ausmus, who was recently fired by the Detroit Tigers. But Varitek? Most in Red Sox Nation wouldn’t have a problem with that. He’s fierce, competitive, and he certainly would make watching the Red Sox a lot more interesting.

I say go for it!