The Red Sox won the division for a third consecutive season for the first time in franchise history. However with new leadership and a power bat is what makes this division win better than the previous two seasons.
Winning the division is something special and should be celebrated. It’s one of the goals you set back in spring training. A division title puts the team one step closer to a world championship. There’s a lot of ups and downs during the baseball season and it’s not easy to win a division, especially in a landslide like the Boston Red Sox did this season.
For the Red Sox, it wasn’t easy to win the division this season. After the Cleveland Indians series in August, some older fans were saying this is 1978 all over again and the Red Sox would lose the division to the rival New York Yankees. But this season is different, even having taking three tries this week to beat the Yankees just once to clunch the AL East. The celebration was as expected but they all know they still have work to do to make it a successful season.
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In 2016, the Red Sox clinched the division for the first time since the 2013 season. However, they clinched the AL East on a night in which the lost in Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox would lose the game after a Mark Teixeira hit a two-out grand slam off Joe Kelly to win the game for the Yankees 5-3. The Red Sox would still celebrate after the game but this was really not how you would want to clinch the AL East, especially if it comes by a walk-off home run.
It was also David Ortiz‘s last season and a month-long retirement celebration took away the focus of the real goal of winning the World Series. Winning the AL East this season was better than 2016 because they actually won this time at Yankee Stadium.
Last season, the Red Sox won the AL East after beating the Astros 5-0. Drew Pomeranz pitched that game and pitched well. Also, Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi homered in the win. It took the Red Sox until the second to last day of the regular season to win the division last year. They would then open the playoffs against Houston and lose again in the first round.
This year’s division win is different from last years because there is a new voice in the clubhouse with Alex Cora. Also, they have a big bat in the lineup in J.D. Martinez and Betts has been on fire this season.
With The Red Sox clinching the AL East ten days before the regular season ends it gives the starters a break and rested for the playoffs. When they clinched the previous two seasons it was very close to the end which meant not much rest for the starters after a long 162 game season. It also gives the starters time to figure things out before the postseason starts like Mookie Betts mentioned after they clinched on Thursday. In the end, though I would take an AL East title in a win at Yankee Stadium rather than a loss like in 2016.