COVID-19 Outbreak That Sidelined Several Players ‘Gut Punch’ For Red Sox

COVID-19 was not kind to the Red Sox


Sep 17, 2021

The Boston Red Sox got rocked by COVID-19 last month, beginning with Kiké Hernández testing positive Aug. 27. From there, 13 players and personnel were impacted by the virus — either contracting it or being deemed a close contact.

The outbreak began while Boston was on the road in Cleveland to face the Indians, and seemed to get worse and worse by the day as they traveled to Tampa Bay to take on the Rays. The Red Sox seem to finally be at the end of this with Matt Barnes and Chris Sale expected to join the team this weekend against the Baltimore Orioles.

Still, the Red Sox were forced to recall players from Triple-A Worcester and carried a taxi squad with them to certain cities. There were questions whether games would be postponed, but that never became the case.

For Alex Verdugo, a switch flipped once the Red Sox realized they’d have to play through it.

“It felt like a gut punch after gut punch with all the guys, the COVID guys, coming down,” Verdugo told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. “We were uncertain, like, ‘Are we going to reschedule these games or are we going to play through it?’ We realized, ‘Hey, we’re playing through this … We’re playing every day. Once we all realized that, it was a mentality, like a switch just kind of flipped.”

That mentality led to a 4-3 road trip, as they continue to make a push for the postseason.

Thumbnail photo via Kevin Sousa/USA TODAY Sports Images
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