The Red Sox were stacked. All-stars Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Carl Crawford were scattered throughout the lineup, with budding star Jacoby Ellsbury sitting atop it. Jon Lester and Josh Beckett led a rotation that may not have been the best in baseball but certainly looked strong enough to be in the top 10. Bobby Jenks, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon to close the door in the final three innings. Wins were supposed to come in bunches.
And they did, for a while, but two unimaginable skids in April and September have the Red Sox packing up their things and heading home before the real baseball even begins.
When a team finishes a season one game out of a playoff spot, the most recent loss is always front and center in everyone's mind. In this case, that's appropriate, given that the Red Sox knew exactly what was on the line before losing in dramatic and painful fashion in Baltimore.
However, every single one of those 162 games counts the exact same in the standings, and a loss in April, May or June is as damaging as one on the final day of the regular season. Let's take a look through the season at the moments that turned wins into losses and, ultimately, a playoff team into an October spectator. As a warning, be prepared for a heavy dosage of Baltimore Orioles.