The MLB playoffs are coming up in 2021, and the Cleveland Indians will be hosting the Boston Red Sox.
The mlb playoffs picture 2021 is a picture of the upcoming MLB Playoffs.
BOSTON (CBS) — You can still hear the shouts from Fenway Park during the Red Sox postseason run. When Gerrit Cole labored in the AL Wild Card Game and didn’t make it beyond three innings, Boston supporters chanted “GERRIT!” across the stadium. When Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena went out to right field, Red Sox supporters in the bleachers shouted “RANDY!” at him. (In response, he tipped his hat.) Fans jeered Luis Patio pre-game in Game 4 after he let up a game-winning home run to Christian Vazquez in Game 3, prompting the Rays pitcher to blow kisses to the crowd. The Fenway fans repeated a jeer from Red Sox history when Patio later entered the game, facing Vazquez.
“WHERE DID YOUR DADDY COME FROM?”
Maybe it’s the months spent in quarantine due to COVID. Maybe it’s because the Red Sox are back in the playoffs after having one of baseball’s worst records in the 2020 season. Perhaps it was the division rivalry playoff games against the Yankees and Rays that prompted the boisterous bleacher chants, but few in the Fenway Park area can recall an environment as loud and passionate as the one the Red Sox faced in Boston during their postseason run.
Boston moved to the ALCS with a 6-5 victory against the Rays on Monday night, with the thunder of a Marathon Monday crowd behind them. The Red Sox grabbed the lead in the third inning thanks to a three-run homer by Rafael Devers, an RBI double by Alex Verdugo, and an RBI single by designated hitter J.D. Martinez. While the Rays chipped away at the lead in the fifth inning with an RBI from Austin Meadows and a sixth-inning Wander Franco home run, ultimately tying the game in the eighth, the Red Sox rallied once again in the bottom of the ninth inning with a Kiké Hernandez walk-off sacrifice fly.
Both Rays and Yankees players acknowledged the impact of the fans on the game. The opinion among everyone around the club, from Fenway Park security guards to players, coaches, and front office officials, was unanimous: the crowds in Boston this playoffs are on another level, approaching legendary status.
There’s something magical in the air at Fenway Park right now.
“I believe it was probably the greatest fans, loudness, engagement that I’ve ever seen, from both ours and Yankees supporters equally,” outfielder Hunter Renfroe said.
Tim Hyers, hitting coach: “This has been as excellent as any other in my own experience. My kids were in town, and they’d gone to a number of playoff games with me, and they thought this was fantastic. They haven’t seen Fenway Park as they have in the last week.”
“Louder than the 2018 World Series,” says assistant general manager Eddie Romero.
The Fenway Park fans are ecstatic for a variety of reasons. The Boston Red Sox’s analytics department predicted low expectations for the 2021 club, predicting a team that will win approximately 86 games and fight for a wild-card spot. Instead, they were on track to earn 98 points at the conclusion of the first half. No other club in baseball has had more comeback victories, and as a result, expectations for the season have been re-calibrated.
Still, Red Sox supporters were irritated by the team’s decision to add slugger Kyle Schwarber and reliever Hansel Robles to the bullpen and rotation at the trade deadline. The pressure had risen again by late September, after the Sox were swept by the Yankees and then lost two of three to the Baltimore Orioles. Boston needed a win in the final game of the season to clinch a spot in the Wild Card Game. The Red Sox fell down 5-1 in that must-win game against the Nationals when Rafael Devers blasted a game-winning home run, his second of the day, to help propel the Red Sox into the playoffs in one of the final moments of the MLB season.
Even better, their wild-card game would be held at home, against the Yankees. The Red Sox came out strong early and often in front of the first postseason crowd at Fenway Park since the 2018 World Series, scoring two runs against Gerrit Cole in the opening inning and going on to win 6-2. They haven’t lost a postseason game at home since that victory. Following losing Game 1 of the ALDS in Tampa Bay, they won Game 2 and then both games in Boston, including a walk-off Game 3 after a disputed play that would have given the Rays the lead in the 13th inning.
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Hernández, maybe more than any other player, seemed to take advantage of the magic at Fenway this weekend, following up his outstanding Game 2 performance with three hits in Game 3, including a solo home run and the game-tying RBI. The eight hits in two games matched the all-time playoff record (Derek Jeter had eight hits in two games in the 2005 and 2006 postseasons), but his seven straight hits were one shy of the record.
It was the sort of performance Hernández had hoped for since joining the Red Sox, where he wanted to establish himself as an everyday player after being labeled as a utility player during his time with the Dodgers. For most of the season, though, the shift seemed unlikely to succeed. After Cora named him the starting leadoff batter, Hernández said he struggled to feel at ease early in the season. He began to feel at ease in late June, when Hernández chose to restart his season after batting.227/.287/.387 through June 25 before hitting a leadoff home run against Gerrit Cole on June 26.
“I told myself the season began today and started feeling better,” Hernández recalled. “Then the next day against Cole, they placed me back in the leadoff position and I was already feeling fairly strong at the bat, so I decided I’ll take a risk on the first pitch of the game and I hit a homer first pitch.” “From there, I took off.”
According to Hyers, the team’s ability to mount comebacks is aided by the roster’s cumulative postseason experience. Bogaerts, Devers, Martinez, and Vázquez all played significant roles on the 2018 championship team, while newcomers Hernández, Schwarber, and Renfroe also have postseason experience.
“They don’t panic, and they know how to win the game, and they know how to thrive offensively,” Hyers said. “Doing it is a different matter, but they may rely on that experience.”
As much as this club resembles the 2018 Red Sox in terms of its manager and many of its players, they’ll be compared to a different Red Sox team in the future: the 2013 group. The Red Sox of 2021 were just the fourth club since 1969 to reach the LCS despite finishing last in their division. Who was the first to accomplish it? The 2013 Boston Red Sox, who won the World Series.
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