For all the criticism the Red Sox have drawn since the trade deadline, most of it well-deserved, they still managed to end up in a one-game playoff against their arch-rivals at Fenway, eliminating the notion that 2021 would go down as a boring and uneventful season that looked promising early on but eventually fizzled out.
Regardless of the outcome on Tuesday night, nobody ever forgets a season in which the Yankees come to Fenway in October. This Sox team might not have the magic of the 2018 squad, but they’ve at least given us reason to be genuinely excited about a baseball game for the first time in the three years since. Not bad considering that the vast majority of preseason projections from MLB experts had Boston missing the playoffs entirely and finishing around 80 wins. 92 wins and the top Wild Card spot was not considered to be within the realm of possibility.
If the Sox win on Tuesday, Boston becomes a baseball town again until further notice. Mac Jones and the 1-3 Pats will have to wait and the B’s and C’s can take their time getting started because nothing else matters when Fenway is hosting a postseason run. That kind of energy and attention is exactly what Red Sox management needs to regain the trust and appreciation of their fan base after their desire to win this year was brought into question numerous times over the past couple months.
Gerrit Cole will take the mound for the Yankees in Tuesday’s do-or-die matchup and the Sox will send out Nate Eovaldi. JD Martinez will unfortunately be out of the lineup. First pitch is at 8:08 ET.