Red Sox lose 2008 ALCS
I hesitated to put this one on the list because it wasn’t really crushing or heartbreaking like the previous losses. It’s also difficult to consider anything that’s happened post-2004 heartbreaking. The Red Sox had won the 2007 World Series and were the defending champions heading into the postseason in 2008.
Led by American League MVP Dustin Pedroia, the team was trying to win a second consecutive pennant and get back to the World Series. Standing in their way were the pesky Tampa Bay Rays who edged the Red Sox out for the division by two games. After winning the first game, the Red Sox lost the next three and found themselves in a familiar place down 3-1.
Just like the previous year’s ALCS, the Red Sox came storming back and forced a deciding seventh game. They took a 1-0 lead after the first inning but didn’t score any more as Tampa put up three to go up 3-1 heading into the eighth inning. The Red Sox looked like they would break through in the top of the inning by loading the bases, but future Red Sox pitcher David Price got JD Drew to strike out with two outs to end the threat.
The Red Sox would lose the game 3-1 and the series and while this one was by no means heartbreaking, it was definitely one that got away. It’s also the only time this century that the Red Sox followed up a World Series victory with a credible postseason run and a chance to repeat.