Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts was fresh off an American League Division Series-clinching performance with a Game 4 win against the Tampa Bay Rays, but couldn’t help but think of the big picture.
Bogaerts was asked if this Red Sox team really is capable of winning the World Series at the end of the 2021 campaign. The answer that Boston’s captain provided probably won’t surprise you.
“Yes, it is. Yes, it is,” Bogaerts said after the win, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage, noting the playoff road against both the New York Yankees in the Wild Card Game and then the Rays. “We’re in the winner’s seat right now.
“Hopefully we just continue to play good baseball,” Bogaerts said. “I feel like when we play good defensively, that’s when we’re at our best.”
But Bogaerts, even despite winning two World Series during his nine-year tenure with the Red Sox, still doesn’t want to take these opportunities for granted. He knows — especially after Boston’s struggles each of the past two seasons — these types of postseason runs aren’t commonplace.
“This doesn’t come around too often, as I said. Beating the Yankees, beating the Rays, those are two of the best teams in the American League. It wasn’t something that was easy to do,” Bogaerts said. “I felt like we overcame that and it’s on to the next one. We just got to continue to play really solid baseball.”
The Red Sox will play either the Chicago White Sox or Houston Astros in their best-of-seven ALCS. That series will start with Game 1 on Friday.