Boston Red Sox: Goats and heroes from 2017 ALDS

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: Hanley Ramirez
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: Hanley Ramirez /

The Boston Red Sox are finished for 2017 and now for the residue from the series with the Astros. Just who deserves goat horns and hero’s wreaths?

As the saying goes, the Boston Red Sox went down fighting and after back-to-back 8-2 blowouts and they managed a certain degree of self-satisfaction – if you can get any satisfaction from losing unless you are Rocky Balboa.

Now that the season has ended, a review of the playoffs and one item I used to enjoy when The Sporting News was “The Baseball Bible” is their assignment of goats and hero’s in the playoffs. And goat is not the title granted to Tom Brady.

GOAT:  Xander Bogaerts had exactly one hit in the series – a home run in Game 4. Otherwise, XB disappeared when most needed. This is merely a carryover from a second half in which Bogaerts hit just .235. Wrist?  Maybe just overrated?

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HERO: David Price tossed four innings and 57 pitches in Game 3 and they were most needed. Price had also tossed 2.2 shutout innings in the second game, so, just maybe, his postseason demons have vanished.  Price may have moved into the rotation if the Red Sox advanced.

GOAT: Chris Sale just got hammered in Game 1 as three balls left the yard.  Sale did his usual strikeout routine, but when the Red Sox needed a jump start against a 100-win team Sale failed and failed miserably.

HERO: Back to Sale for his valiant effort in Game 4 working out of the bullpen. Sale keeps things in order as the Red Sox took a 3-2 lead, but the long ball came back to bite Sale.  Nevertheless, it was a redemption from game one despite what the two runs allowed may say.

GOAT:  Craig Kimbrel simply gave it up. The Red Sox had an opportunity to keep it tied, but the closer coughed this one up. A great season, but this certainly takes the gloss off it.

HERO: Rafael Devers is a disaster in the field, but this kid can flat out hit. Two home runs and a .364 average. I would say he’s a keeper.

GOAT: Rick Porcello had his chance and failed my giving the Astros a quick run.  Three walks in three innings to go with five hits. The Astros could have put this one away early.

HERO: Mookie Betts saved Game 3 with a Dwight Evans move in right field. Despite an injured wrist, Betts still hit .313.

GOAT: Dustin Pedroia took the 0-for-5 collar in Game 4 leaving three runners on.

GOAT: Jackie Bradley came up short in Game 4 with his own masterful 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Bradley did get three RBI in Game 3, but he may have played his last Boston game.

GOAT: Drew Pomeranz has been relatively consistent all season until a supreme effort was needed. Pomeranz fell far short as the Astros beat him like a rented mule.

HERO: Eduardo Nunez went down after just one at-bat, but with the extent of his injury he could have sat out the series.  Nunez may or may not have damaged his knee and as a pending free agent, his courage or foolishness may have cost him a boatload of dough.

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GOAT: Eduardo Rodriguez’s ERA is listed as infinity. I won’t miss E-Rod if the Sox decide to move him.

HERO: Hanley Ramirez must have had his bat sent to Lourdes for a blessing as HanRam slugged .571 for the series.

HERO:  Mitch Moreland hit a very quiet and a very hard .385 for the short series.  Moreland had a solid season, wants to be back, and will get a nice deal somewhere.

HERO: Catchers Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez. Leon hit .500 and Vaz hit .333.  Both were solid defensively.

GOAT: Team speed. Tough to steal when you are way behind or way ahead.

HERO: Andrew Benintendi may have won game four with a two-run shot off Justin Verlander, but the bullpen eventually gave it up. Will he be in center field next season?

GOAT: Mark Wegner was the home plate umpire who in the crucial second inning suddenly lost focus. The strike zone became problematic and the result was manager John Farrell got tossed.  Another solid reason for PITCHf/x to take over the duties.

Next: Red Sox done for 2017

HERO: Or should it be plural?  The Astros are a great team and played a solid series.

HERO: Farrell ran a good series and played it close when his starters began to fold.

GOAT: Dave Dombrowski for forgetting the need for a power bat in that lineup.