October 21, 2018


Jayson Stark, The Athletic:
"When did you know?" someone asked Boston's president of baseball operations, David Dombrowski. "When did you know that this had a chance to be a World Series team?"

"We were 17-2," Dombrowski replied, without a moment's hesitation. ... "[Y]ou never know how things are going to turn out. But ... you could tell early that this club had a chance to be good."

They were just the fifth team in the last 100 seasons to start 17-2. As half of the previous four found out, 17-2 guarantees you nothing in this sport, other than you get to keep playing.
2018    Red Sox    ?
1987    Brewers    Third
1984    Tigers     Won World Series
1981    A's        Lost in ALDS
1955    Dodgers    Won World Series
But 19 games into the season, this was a team that had scored the most runs in baseball and given up the fewest. It had outscored the six clubs it had played by a ridiculous 123-53. It had a better run differential (plus-70) after three weeks than the 2017 Red Sox had at the All-Star break – and that was a team that won the AL East, remember. ...

[The Red Sox led] the major leagues in runs scored, extra-base hits, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS.

Yet it did all that while ranking as one of the five toughest teams to strike out in the major leagues. ...

[Hitting coach Tim Hyers:] "We've got ... guys who (know) it’s not how far you can hit it but how hard you can hit it. We talk about ... hit the ball hard but don't try to hit it too far, because big thoughts create big swings. And that's where the strikeouts come out of. ... [It's] the next-man-up mentality. Pass the baton. And the guys believe it, and the guys talk about it. It's: 'Hey, it might be me today. It might be you tomorrow.'" ...

[H]ardly a day goes by when you don't hear this lineup described as "relentless." ...

What you saw in the playoffs was a series of offensive eruptions of epic proportions. There was a 16-1 blowout at Yankee Stadium – a mash-up that became the Yankees' most lopsided postseason loss in franchise history.

Then, in the ALCS, the Red Sox put up back-to-back-to-back games of seven, eight and eight runs against the best pitching staff in baseball.

So how many times all season did the Astros give up seven runs or more in three straight games? Yessir, that would be none. ...

[I]t's time to recognize what we're watching. ...

[I]f they win this World Series, the 2018 Red Sox are going to be a team that people talk about forever. For-ever. We don't say that lightly, either. Just check the record books. It's true. ...

Once, the Boston Red Sox were defined by their curses. Now they're on the cusp of being defined as the Team of the Millennium.

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