The Red Sox: A Postseason Recap

Finn Maclennan and Cade Wetter

The Red Sox have recently been eliminated from the 2021 MLB Playoffs. Although this is very disappointing as a Red Sox fan, there are a lot of positives to look at going forward, along with looking back on this season.

Coming into this year, the Sox were projected to win 81 games and finish fourth out of five teams in the AL East, only above the Orioles, who have been at rock bottom for the past few years. Looking at the team on paper, that was not a bad guess going into this season. This team, however, was constantly beating the odds. First off, they were dealt hard cards for this year, because of how the AL East is filled to the brim with good baseball teams and players. We started the year off poorly, but by the summer, we became one of the winningest teams in the whole game, and that can be attributed to our offense performing very well. We acquired Kyle Schwarber, one of the best hitters in the game, at the trade deadline. Along with that, underperforming players such as Kike Hernandez and Bobby Dalbec went from very inconsistent to two of the best hitters in the game.  

When interviewing Red Sox fans about the topic of Kyle Shwarber, avid fan Mark Norris stated that, “He really helped the team make the wild card game. He was huge through the playoffs.” This was referring to his five home run postseason, and his batting average at .333. Taking into account his outstanding performance in the postseason, other fans aren’t completely bought by Shwarber. Mr. Hughes, a passionate red sox follower, stated that, “I liked him; he played really well in the playoffs … I don’t think he’s your solution long term.”   In the postseason, he played first base, but Mr. Hughes stated that he wouldn’t play there for much longer. 

The team was riding their momentum for weeks on end, and that was enough to give them a spot in the Wild Card Game, which is a one game series where the winner makes it to the playoffs. The Wild Card Game was a very exciting game versus our long-time rival, the Yankees. The Yankees tried to give a fight, but we ended up winning a fairly comfortable game by the score of 6-2. Now we are onto the real challenge, the red hot Tampa Bay Rays. They were a similar story to The Red Sox, a team that on paper wasn’t supposed to be very good, but defied the odds and became the best team in the AL East. We ended up winning that series, to the whole league’s surprise, and now had to take on the infamous Houston Astros. This was one of the best series of the entire playoffs, but ended in the Sox’s elimination. 

For next year, there are a couple of things that could change in the team that could put us in a better position for World Series contention. Norris stated that “one of our biggest weaknesses was the catcher. I love Vasquez, but his plate performance really struggled.”  He also said that we needed a stronger bullpen, with more relief arms and starters. Mr. Hughes also said that if we make some moves for some pitchers, then he would be more comfortable next year. If the team does these little things with small trade acquisitions, then the Red Sox will become a threat to the rest of the league.