September 21, 2013

G156: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 2

Blue Jays - 000 300 001 - 4  9  1
Red Sox   - 000 001 100 - 2  5  1
Mark Buehrle / Clay Buchholz
Drew, SS
Victorino, CF
Ortiz, DH
Gomes, LF
Nava, RF
Middlebrooks, 1B
Bogaerts, 3B
Ross, C
McDonald, 2B
Alex Speier, WEEI: "How 2013 Red Sox Defied Probability And Built A Worst-To-First Division Winner":
The Sox tried to find players with excellent clubhouse reputations and passion for the game to complement skills that suggested a fit for what they wanted to do. They wanted to find personalities who wouldn't shy from the fact that the team was attempting to fix a very negative environment and turn it into one where players could flourish again. They wanted players who ... would embrace the scrutiny of Boston rather than shrink under its glare.

The sense started to emerge in spring training that they might have just such a group. Over time, with a host of late-innings heroics and victories, the team's self-belief became further solidified. An unseen fabric began to weave throughout the clubhouse -- the obsessive attention to detail behind the scenes among players, the joy in hard work, the concern for the team's performance rather than dwelling on individual roles and accomplishments.
Koji Uehara has a chance to become the first major league pitcher in history with 100+ strikeouts and fewer than 10 walks in a full season. Right now, he has nine walks (two of which were intentional) and 98 strikeouts.


dj1480 said...

I'm surprised Speier doesn't mention the impact of the Marathon Day bombing. It seemed to be a catalyst that fused the commitment to doing a good job every single day. The "B" in B Strong, the 617 jersey, the David Ortiz' speech, the moments of silence and Sweet Caroline in every city; I think those things mattered to the players. Overachieving teams and championship teams often have some shared, tough, core experience. I'm just surprised it didn't get mentioned.

laura k said...

Overachieving teams and championship teams often have some shared, tough, core experience.

Or people like to think they do, because it explains performance in a heartwarming way, and finds positive meaning in painful events.

The fact that no one expected this team to do so well doesn't necessarily mean they are overachieving. It may mean they are reaching a potential that pundits overlooked or didn't understand.