Tuesday, September 11th, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 and clinched a postseason berth this October. Then on Wednesday, September 12th, the Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays again 1-0 to earn their 100th victory as a ballclub this season. The Red Sox have had an incredibly successful year and they hope to carry their success deep into the playoffs.
The Red Sox became the first team to clinch a playoff spot. Of the 25 teams to clinch earliest in the wild-card era (since 1995), 12 of the 25 lost in the first round while five went on to win it all. https://t.co/nmtYMNXbPv
— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) September 12, 2018
Going into Thursday, the Red Sox’s magic number to clinch the American League East is at seven wins. The Red Sox are on a 3-game win streak going into the final game of the series against the Blue Jays. They have put up incredible offensive numbers during the 2018 season. Acquisitions that the Red Sox have made, have paid off enormously for them such as J.D. Martinez and Ian Kinsler.
Martinez has a batting average of .331 but more impressively has hit 40 home runs and 121 RBI’s during the 2018 campaign. This offseason, he was the biggest acquisition for the Red Sox, signing a 5-year, $110 million deal. His presence has been shown in the lineup, and he has provided a solid boost helping the Red Sox to win so many games.
Besides adding Martinez before 2018, the Red Sox also made a big move at the trade deadline adding Ian Kinsler to the lineup. The move to add Kinsler was necessary because of an injury to second baseman Dustin Pedroia and setback that put Pedroia out for all of 2018. Since joining the Red Sox, Kinsler’s numbers have increased, he is now hitting .287 with a slugging percentage of .326 also having 13 RBI’s in his stint with the Red Sox.
Also at the deadline, the Red Sox added Nathan Eovaldi to their pitching staff in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. Adding Eovaldi was an insurance piece for the Red Sox to have another solid starter to continue their success and work towards this playoff berth and World Series run. Also at this time, the Red Sox pitching rotation was struggling immensely with injuries. Eovaldi’s presence has not been the strongest however, he has pitched in nine games with a 2-3 record and 4.17 ERA since joining the Red Sox.
The Red Sox, collectively, have produced extremely well this year including five players named to the all-star team in July. The Red Sox all-star players were Craig Kimbrel, Chris Sale, Mitch Moreland, Mookie Betts, and J.D. Martinez. The Red Sox tied the Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians for most team representatives in the American League.
Besides the acquisitions the team made, some of the team’s stars like Betts, Sale, and Kimbrel have had a phenomenal 2018 season. Betts is having such a phenomenal year that he is in the running to win the MVP award this year. Through 2018 so far, Betts is hitting .340 with an on-base percentage of .432 while hitting 29 home runs and driving in 71 RBI’s while also stealing 27 bases. Sale is also having a successful year that he is being considered for the Cy Young award. Sale’s 2018 season has been impressive, he is 12-4 with an ERA of 1.96 while striking out 221 in 147 innings pitched. Kimbrel has been lights out in the back end of the bullpen for the Red Sox in 2018 having an ERA of 2.41 while also contributing 39 saves.
All-in-all, the Red Sox have put together a tremendous season and they look to continue this success into the postseason. Based on their current pace and numbers, Betts has a legitimate shot at winning the MVP award this year and Sale also has a legitimate shot at winning the Cy Young award. The Red Sox hope that their acquisitions were enough to allow them to make a deep postseason run and compete at a shot to play in the World Series.
The Red Sox main focus must now shift towards winning seven more games to clinch the American League East while also focusing on their playoff goals. Assuming the Red Sox lineup continues to have the same success it has had in the 2018 regular season, the Red Sox will be a legitimate threat at a World Series run this postseason. It will be interesting to see how the Red Sox lineup translates success into the postseason, and to see if their lineup still produces as well as they have during the regular season.