J.D. Martinez and the rest of the Boston Red Sox currently are on the outside looking in of the American League East standings.

Boston is 11 games behind the first-place Yankees and just two back of the Rays. The Red Sox begin a three-game set against Tampa Bay on Monday, then welcome New York to Fenway Park for four contests before taking on the Rays and Yanks again.

So to say the upcoming games are crucial would be an understatement.

Before Monday’s game, Martinez caught up with NESN’s Guerin Austin to talk about the importance of the next 14 games. To hear from the slugger, check out the “Red Sox First Pitch” video above, presented by Men’s Wearhouse.

Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images