As Red Sox Fade, Playoff Fever Heats Up

Colin Healy ‘25

Sports Editor

In May, I wrote an article assuring fellow members of Red Sox nation that the Sox would be just fine this year. I emphasized that it was still too early to write them off and that such a talented team would surely figure things out as the season progressed. I felt that they would pull it together for an October run the way only the Red Sox can.

Of course, that was May, and this is September going into October. And I must admit, I was wrong. This Red Sox season might have been the most frustrating one I can remember. The Sox have had worse teams in the last ten years, but this year’s roster was loaded with talent. There was no reason for this team to not make the playoffs. And yet, they fell apart. By August it became obvious this team didn’t have it. You can say that injuries plagued the team all year (and they did) but you can’t deny that the roster flat out underperformed. There was little to no spark or urgency at any point in the season. I’m ashamed to say that the 2022 Red Sox became unwatchable.

As this year’s squad wraps things up, I remain optimistic about the future. Perhaps that’s bold of me to say, given my track record of an exuberance of optimism, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for next season. With young talent in Triston Casas and Brayan Bello, as well as an offseason for players coming back from injury, the Sox are in good shape. Questions still surround the futures of Rafael Devers and Xander Boagaerts, but Boston will find a way to put a championship-caliber team out on the field for next season. Ok, I’ve said my piece about the Red Sox. Let’s move on. 

At the other end of the MLB standings, the postseason is looming. To be expected, the L.A. Dodgers and Houston Astros are World Series favorites. The Yankees, Mets, and Braves lurk just behind as other contenders. In all likelihood, the winner of the World Series will be one of those five teams. The Dodgers possess the best record in baseball, thanks to a lineup that features Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Trea Turner. Combined with pitchers like perennial ace Clayton Kershaw and Jose Urias, they are undoubtedly the team to beat. 

In the Big Apple, the Yankees will be looking to win ring number 28. For a while, they seemed to be in position to finish as the best team in the league. Some even speculated they would break the record for most wins in a season. A midsummer slump prevented said scenario from happening, but the Yankees are still capable of making a run in October. The Bronx is one of the toughest places to play in the playoffs, so you can never count out the Yankees. 

Across the East River in Queens, the Mets have the same goal in mind. Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom arguably pack the biggest one-two punch in any pitching staff in the league. Runs are hard to come by when playing the Mets, but it’s their offense that will determine their fate. If Scherzer and deGrom can get adequate run support, the Mets might be able to pull off some surprises.

One of the biggest storylines from this year’s postseason race comes from a team fighting for a Wild Card spot: the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners lay claim to the longest postseason drought, not only in the MLB, but in all four of the major North American leagues – they have not made the playoffs since 2001. Nonetheless, Seattle is in the driver’s seat for a playoff appearance this year. Led by Rookie of the Year frontrunner Julio Rodriguez, the Mariners have made their best attempt in recent years to clinch a postseason berth. With just a handful of games left in the season, there is a good chance October baseball will be returning to the Pacific Northwest this fall. 

The race for the World Series will be interesting and exhilarating. After all, October baseball is just something else. Whether your team is in or out, these games will be worth the watch. 

Photo courtesy
Playoff Format

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