Red Sox Clinch Playoff Berth (Boo!)

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

I don’t like you. No seriously, I really don’t like you. You keep winning when we want you to lose. And you continue to have fun while you win. How dare you?! This isn’t supposed to be fun!! This is baseball.

The Boston Red Sox have had a successful season — so far. They currently stand 3 games ahead of the New York Yankees in the American League East division. They clinched a playoff berth on Wednesday night after a combination of a win against the Baltimore Orioles (9-0), and an Angels loss (6-5). Also, Chris Sale (he’s good) became the 1st Red Sox pitcher to record 300 strikeouts in a season since Pedro Martinez (1999).

Even though Dustin Pedroia is still hanging around, the Red Sox have a new look. They’ve transitioned from the Pedro Martinez’ to the David Ortiz’ to the Mookie Betts’ of the world. They’re in the midst of a youth movement. And they’ve created their own version of the ‘Killer B’s’:

  • Betts (24)
  • Benintendi (23)
  • Bogaerts (24)
  • Bradley Jr. (27)

Only time will tell if this group will be as good as Biggio, Bagwell, Berkman, and Bell. I’m going to say Naaaaa, considering that group has 2 Hall of Famers in it. But these young players have had a great season. What’s most impressive is their resolve this late in the season. While their arch nemesis Yankees have won 14 of their last 18 games, the Red Sox have managed to win 11 of their last 14.

Did I mention I strongly dislike the Red Sox?! 

It’s not that the Red Sox are winning, it’s how they’re winning. Over this stretch, they have won 4 games in extra innings (11, 11, 15, and 19 innings!). If those games had gone the other way, the AL East would be a completely different animal right now. As a Yankees’ fan, I’ve come to terms with not winning the division, but the Yankees are getting hot at the right time.

The Red Sox don’t want a piece of US right now.

Nobody does. When the Yankees’ lineup is firing on all cylinders, it is as dangerous as they come. Once they handle their business in the Wild Card Game against either the Twins or Angels, they can set their sites on the rest of the American League. And, who knows, maybe they’ll meet up with these pesky little Red Sox down the road. Betts and Benintendi are nice players, but my money’s on Judge, Sanchez, and company.

 

Who has a better young core of players, the Yankees, or the Red Sox??

Answer me in the comment section below.

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Happy Birthday Aaron Judge!!

aaron judge

Did you see that?!?! This has become a common reaction to the early season accomplishments of New York Yankees’ outfielder, Aaron Judge. A mountain of a man, standing 6’7″ tall, Judge has taken the league by storm, one moonshot home run at a time. Wednesday night, Judge celebrated his 25th birthday by playing against the Boston Red Sox for the first time. Judge didn’t wait long to give himself a gift and introduce himself to this historic rivalry.

The first pitch Judge saw Wednesday night, an 89-m.p.h. fastball from Rick Porcello, landed exactly where you’d expect; the cheap seats. The 2nd inning, 2-run home run was the 7th of the season for Judge. He now has 7 home runs and 15 r.b.i.’s while batting .281 in his first 18 games. And to think just 4 short weeks ago, Judge nearly lost the right-field competition to Aaron Hicks. Good work Joe Girardi! This is Judge’s second audition in the big leagues (playing in 27 games in 2016), and I’d say he’s got the part. And who said you never get a 2nd chance at a 1st impression?!

The birthday boy’s evening didn’t end there. In the 3rd inning, Judge figured it was time to flash the leather. Xander Bogaerts popped-up a ball down the right-field line. As it appeared it would hang up just enough for Judge to make a play on it, he took off full-speed toward the foul line. The ball met his glove simultaneously with his knees meeting the half-wall, making an incredible catch and tumbling into the first row of the stands (pictured above) in a very Jeter-Esque manner. Dare I say that Judge’s home run in the 2nd inning was an inside-out swing reminiscent of one Derek Jeter as well? I’m just sayin’. 

Thanks to Judge’s hot start (and some surprisingly OUTSTANDING starting pitching), the Yankees have opened the season 12-7, just 1.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. Only time will tell if the Yankees and Judge will continue their strong play. For now, I will enjoy watching him hit 448-foot home runs into the stratosphere.

Do you think Aaron Judge is the real deal? Are the Yankees really contenders or is the other shoe about to drop? Let me know in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!