By Kevin Flanagan
BSD Senior Staff Writer
There was a time in the not so distant past where your dedication as a Red Sox fan in Boston, was measured by your depth of misery and the level of angst you felt when your favorite team played in October. No matter how deep the line up was or how good the pitching staff seemed – which, frankly, wasn’t that often which is why the Sox went 86 years between World Series Championships – those who lived and died with this franchise would often lay in bed at night, dreaming up new and more sinister ways the Olde Towne Team would once again break their hearts.
If you are under the age of 30, look it up on Google – since you spoiled little brats have nary seen a year in your limited sentient time on this planet when one of the four professional franchises that call Boston home hasn’t been in the hunt for a title – but, trust me, there was a reason the term “Loserville” was coined on sports radio in the late 1990’s.
Now, with the Red Sox just two games away from clinching their 4th championship – what will be the 11th for Boston teams since the turn of the century – we might just be too close to what we are watching to recognize how historic a run the team that calls Fenway Park home is on this season.
Efforting to explain to his readers just how incredibly Cora’s kids have been in clutch situations in these playoffs, Stark writes:
OK, how about this? In 1941, a Red Sox legend named Ted Williams had a season so special that it feels as though someone writes a book about it every couple of weeks. Here was Ted’s slash line in that season:
It still gives you chills just seeing those numbers, doesn’t it – if only because you most likely will never see them again. But now imagine a whole lineup made up of nine of those Ted Williams. Now imagine that they all hit like that in the postseason, in games that can change their lives and their legacies.
But they’re not merely doing that in any old situation. They’re doing it in the most challenging, most pressure-packed October moments that can possibly come along – with runners in scoring position and two outs.
The average hitter in the major leagues batted .232, with more strikeouts than hits, in those situations this season. Now here is what the Red Sox – all of them – are hitting with two outs and runners in scoring position in this postseason:
While there were some of those who still can’t quite look past the scars of the distant past – aka, former residents of Loserville – and thought the Sox pitching staff would be the Achilles heel of one of the most exciting ballclubs from Boston in memory prior to the Division Series against the Yankees, their fears have been proven unfounded.
After the game two 6-2 loss at home against the Bronx Bombers – when Aaron Judge blared Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York while walking past the Red Sox clubhouse – the Boston offense has mashed down hard on the gas and dosen’t seem to be looking to let up anytime soon.
To further the point regarding how Sox hitters have risen to the occasion this October, Stark notes:
The average team this year scored 37 percent of its runs with two outs. This is the Red Sox breakdown for this postseason:
32 runs with one out or none.
36 runs with two outs.
That computes to 53 percent of all this team’s postseason runs scoring with two outs. It’s not just eye-popping. It’s crazy.
The franchise and their fans who once seemed doomed to see their seasons end in the most devious ways when the baseball calendar flipped to October, now seems as if once they get to MLB’s second season, they are destined to come out on top.
After the immortal 2004 squad ended the 86-year period of despair for the baseball fans of Boston with a sweep against the Cardinals, former Sox pitcher turned pariah Curt Schilling toasted to “the greatest Red Sox team ever” in the visiting clubhouse in St. Louis.
If Cora’s team finishes the deal in Los Angeles this weekend against the Dodgers, we may have to rethink – like many things that he says – the big righty’s declaration that night.
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