The Tampa Bay Rays were the best team in the American League. On Monday Night, that didn’t matter.
At Fenway Park, it didn’t matter that the Tampa Bay Rays were the number one seed and had won 100 games in the regular season, because they were sent home on a walk-off sac-fly by Kike Hernandez, and the Boston Red Sox eli instead the Rays three games to one.
The Red Sox journey to the postseason started in the final week of the regular season, as they were in a four-way race with the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners for the American League Wild Card.
Because the Red Sox were able to rally on the final day of the season and defeated the Washington Nationals, Boston was able to get to 92-70 and got the first of the two Wild Card spots and hosted the game against the Yankees.
Boston was able to win the game over the Yankees 6-2 and moved on to face the Rays, who were in the World Series last year against the Los Angeles Dodgers and lost in six games.
Speaking of those same Dodgers, who won 106 games themselves and had to fight off the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Wild Card game and are currently down two games to one against the 107-win San Francisco Giants.
It’s funny how baseball works like that, as the Dodgers are now on the brink of elimination and the Rays just found themselves eliminated after a 100-win year.
Records don’t matter when it comes to October baseball. None of them.
In a one-game playoff, the best team wins. In a five-game series, the hottest team with the best pitching staff should win. And mostly, they do.
The Red Sox heading into the final week of the season looked dead in the water after the Yankees beat them down at Fenway Park. A week later, and after the Red Sox knocked off the Nationals to get home field advantage against that same Yankees team; they were the ones with the momentum.
And ever since, the Red Sox are the team with the momentum heading into the ALCS and awaiting the winner of the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox; Houston leads that series 2-1.
For Boston, it could be a bad thing that they have to wait, as their momentum of playing at home stops because they await where they head to next in Houston or Chicago.
Either way. Boston is in a good spot to make another run in October and are showing that records are only a number and what does matter is the hottest team can win it all.