Boston Red Sox Review: Monthly summary for the 2018 season
By Jacob Anes
If you were to ask Red Sox fans which month they remember the most, I think the majority of them would say August. This was the month where the Red Sox all but won the AL East.
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The Red Sox opened the month with a pivotal 4-game series with the Yankees. Shortly before the series, Chris Sale was placed on the DL with shoulder inflammation and Brian Johnson was announced as the replacement starter for the series opener. The Red Sox did not let that affect them, sweeping the Yankees in 4 games, capped off by an Andrew Benintendi walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th of the 4th game. Most Red Sox fans can probably still see in their head Tony Renda going headfirst into home to win the game.
During this series, Steve Pearce made himself the newest hero, blasting 3 home runs in the series-opening 15-7 win. Alex Cora earned his first ejection in game 2 while Mookie Betts made his season debut at second base. Nathan Eovaldi continued his dominance, firing 8 shutout innings in game 3 and then Benintendi was the hero in game 4.
Despite a bit of a cold streak following this series, which included their only time being swept all season against Tampa, the 9.5 game lead the Red Sox had was too much for the Yankees to overcome. They led the division by 7.5 games at the end of the month.
Games of the month:
This one is pretty obvious. It is the 4 game sweep of the Yankees to open the month. Not only did winning this series in this fashion close the deal in the AL East, but it also gave the team incredible confidence, especially considering they did it without Chris Sale and a couple of offensive starters due to injury. There was no doubt that the Red Sox were for real after this series. This also put enormous pressure on the Yankees, with the A’s now right behind them for wildcard home field advantage, which could have helped the Red Sox get a much more favorable ALDS matchup.