Before the 2021 Major League Baseball season even began, many experts and analysts left the Boston Red Sox out of the postseason race completely.
The tables have turned, though, and the Red Sox are preparing to take on the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series.
It’s been a fun ride to get to where they are. First, Boston took care of the New York Yankees in the winner-take-all AL Wild Card Game before defeating the 100-win Tampa Bay Rays in four games in the AL Division Series.
The Red Sox led the AL East for 85 days this season before falling back to earth a bit after the All-Star break and MLB trade deadline. But they managed to find their way from the Wild Card to the ALCS and have won four of their last five postseason games.
This team is talented, no doubt, and it seems some of its players never thought they weren’t a postseason team. The win against the Yankees, though, sparked something.
“The whole year. We were in first-place for a lot of the year,” Xander Bogaerts told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. “But to be honest, after beating the Yankees in the Wild Card game, that was huge. I have to be honest, and us beating them that was huge. It felt different winning the game.”
Nick Pivetta tends to agree.
“I think I agree with what Xander said,” Pivetta said “I think it was after the Yankees series, after that Wild Card win, because it was such a crucial game and there was so much to it. I think that put us in that mindset that we were capable of this, capable of moving forward. These little wins add on to that. It gives us confidence.”
Every win counts and is more important than ever, and the Red Sox will have momentum on their side and a slew of confidence when the ALCS begins Friday in Houston.