After defeating the Yankees in a one-game wildcard, the Boston Red Sox played the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.
Many prognosticators were counting out the Red Sox once again as Tampa Bay was the runaway winner of the best record in the competitive AL East.
However, this 2001 Red Sox team had other ideas as they refused to lose. The series went four games and included a walk-off home run by catcher Christian Vasquez in the 13th inning of Game 3 and a game four classic for the ages.
In game four, and with their backs up against the wall once again, the Red Sox rallied to get runners on base and set the table for hot-hitting Kike Hernandez to be the hero.
A loss would have brought the series back to Tampa Bay, where the Rays would have run away with the win. Instead, destiny had its moment as Kike Hernandez connected on a sacrifice fly to left field in front of the green monster as the winning run galloped home in dramatic fashion.
Yes, indeed, the hard-fought series had been decided by one of the most underestimated plays in Baseball, the sacrifice fly!
The players jumped all over each other as fans cheered on their team from the stands. Along with fantastic pitching/bullpen performances and a hugely appreciated hitting coach job
Especially elated was manager Alex Cora who now takes on his nemesis of a former team, the Houston Astros, for the AL pennant. T
The upcoming series with Houston will be another epic matchup like 2018, where the best Red Sox team ever prevailed. If anything, the now seasoned manager, Alex Cora, is even stronger after owning up to personal errors and overcoming adversity to battle back to this prestigious position.
This time once, as a dramatic postseason unfolds again, he looks to have the support of incredible fans, a well-run organization, and hungry players who have Cora’s back.
Upon celebrating on the field at Fenway Park OF Alex Verdugo was quoted as saying it all when he stated:
”We saw Tampa Bay celebrating in their dugout eating popcorn and taking out the champagne so it was great to see them sent home and the Red Sox winning the whole thing!”
The Red Sox are back and contenders when many tried to label them as pretenders.
Of course, Houston will be a challenge, but if there is anything to be learned about the 2021 Red Sox, it is.
Don’t count this fine bunch of baseball players out. Happy playoff postseason, Go, Red Sox, Go!