The Red Sox season ended on October 22 as Boston was shutout by the Houston Astros 5-0. The Sox went into Game 6 of the American League Championship Series down 3-2 to Houston. The ALCS started well for Boston as they set Major League postseason records with back-to-back games with grand slams in Games 2 and 3. They won both of those games 9-5 and 12-3 respectively. They would lose the next two games, scoring less than 3 runs combined as Houston easily clinched the World Series berth. As the season ended in tragedy for the Sox, there is much to take away from the 2021 season. The team was originally projected to win around 80 games and finish 4th in the AL East. They exceeded expectations winning 92 regular season games, and finished 2nd in the division. They then had an extremely productive postseason, winning the Wild Card game over the New York Yankees, besting the Tampa Bay Rays in 4 games after being shutout in Game 1 of the ALDS. Here are the stars that made this Red Sox season possible.
Kiké Hernández, INF/OF
Boston acquired Hernández from the LA Dodgers in February 2021, just before the start of the season. While he shined as a centerfielder during the regular season, his postseason performance was remarkable. He set incredible postseason records with 5 extra base hits in the ALDS, 8 hits in post season games, and had hits in 7 straight at-bats. His walk off sacrifice fly in Game 4 of the ALDS sent Boston to the ALCS as well.
Nate Eovaldi, RHP
The 10-year MLB veteran was a key asset of the 2021 Red Sox, and shined during the postseason. Arguably the only reliable pitcher in the Sox rotation, Eovaldi was a star in this 2021 team. With a 3.75 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, Boston would not have made it nearly as far as they did without the right-handed ace. He was an integral part of this postseason run.
Kyle Schwarber, OF/1B
Acquired at the trade deadline in July, Schwarber’s future in the Red Sox was unclear. The left-handed hitter was intended to provide support at first base and be a crucial left-handed bat at the plate. Interestingly, Schwarber had never played first base before. Thankfully for the Sox, he picked it up rather quickly despite the few hiccups that come with learning a new position. He hit .266 this season with an OPS of .928, and it to credit for one of the 3 grand slams in the ALCS.