By Jack Lund ‘19
This past weekend the Red Sox were on the cusp of clinching the American League Eastern division for the second consecutive year. It took the Red Sox 161 games to clinch the division they had a two game lead in. With two games to go, starter Drew Pomeranz was on the bump looking for his 17 victory of the year. The situation going into Saturday September 30th was if the Red Sox won they would clinch the American League East and play the Houston Astros in the American League Divisional Series. This was also the case last year with regards to the Red Sox clinching the division. They were playing the Yankees on the final day of the season and we had to win the game in order to win the division things were going according to plan when suddenly up to the plate steps up Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th inning he hit a walk off grand slam off closer Craig Kimbrel. When this happened it was a weird situation because normally a team wants to win a clinching game to win the division title however in this case the Red Sox relied on the a Blue Jays losing to win and they backed into the playoffs.
When it comes to clinching the division this weekend the Red Sox and everybody within the organization knew that they had to win. Backing into the playoffs this year would be trouble because that would mean that the Cleveland Indians would be their opponent for the second year in a row. Based on the facts from last postseason and throughout the year the Indians have had the upper hand on the Red Sox. This year especially with regards to Chris Sales, who has been less than stellar against the Indians in his career.
Chris Sale has been in the MLB for six years and has never been to the playoffs so this year is going to be special for him. The good thing about Chris Sale never getting the chance to pitch in the playoffs is that he will have the chance to prove himself as a postseason pitcher. Another reason that the Red Sox should feel confident about where the team is heading into the playoffs is because the team has been hitting more home runs over the last couple of weeks. This is a promising because against the Astros they are going to need the home run ball in order to be successful.
The last thing that I am going to talk about is the bullpen over the last couple of weeks. Since David Price has come back and rejoined the team. He has added the much needed depth to a depleted bullpen and has really come in and done a wonderful job in the clutch. With David Price the Red Sox have a bullpen that can compete with any opponent they will face this postseason.