The Boston Red Sox find themselves among a handful of teams — Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, etc. — fighting for an American League wild card spot.
And Red Sox manager Alex Cora shared what Boston will need to do in order to pull it out with just 17 games remaining in their 162-game campaign.
“I think get healthy, that’d be great, or whatever you want to call it,” Cora said with a smirk during a video conference before Boston faced the Seattle Mariners on Monday. “Play better defense, we know that. When we play good defense we become a really good team. And do the little things.
“All that stuff comes into play now more than ever,” Cora added. “If we get locked in, we haven’t had our hot stretch yet. We got hot for a little bit but we’ve been a .500 team for a while. So, we still have one more run in us and hopefully it starts here in Seattle.”
The Red Sox activated relief pitcher Hirokazu Sawamura off the team’s COVID-19 Injured Reserve list Monday meaning they now have nine players still on the list. Cora does sound hopeful, however, that others could be coming off said list in the not too distant future.
Cora admitted that he knows who each team is set to play and what awaits others. He also put emphasis into Boston controlling what it can control.
“That’s the fun part of it, just to see obviously who is where and who is playing who,” Cora said. “We know for sure there’s a lot of teams around us, they’re going to be banging heads in the upcoming weeks. We still have some big series obviously with some of them, starting here. That part, that’s the fun part. We’re going to enjoy it the most we can.”
Boston will finish up its three-game series against the Mariners on Wednesday before turning their attention to the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park this weekend.