The Red Sox make it to the Fall Classic once again
When we look back at the recent Red Sox championships, it feels like 2007 always gets left by the wayside. 2004 was all about ending the curse, 2013 had the weight of the Boston Marathon bombing, and 2018 was the greatest season in BoSox history. Then there’s that pesky ’07 season that somehow never gets the love of its fellow titles does. Why is that?
I remember the 2007 season pretty fondly. The Sox damn near steamrolled the campaign with a 96-66 finish and an AL East title. Then they ran into the Angels, who let’s be honest, didn’t have a damn chance at knocking Boston out of the postseason. However, they would run into an absolute buzzsaw in the Indians.
Cleveland matched Boston’s 96-66 record but had the advantage in the talent department. C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, and former Red Sox stalwart Trot Nixon were primed to win the World Series.
Now, Boston wasn’t without their own talented stars as Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz were still smashing balls to the freakin moon. Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett had come over from the Marlins and were instantly earning their spots in Red Sox Nation. Add in a dash of madness with Jonathan Papelbon as well as some youth in Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia, and you have a recipe for success!
It didn’t take long for Boston to be right back where they were in 2004 as the Indians stormed to a 3-1 lead in the ALCS. However, just like they did a few years prior, the Sox came roaring back and defeated Cleveland 4-3. Once again coming back from the brink of elimination to find their way into the World Series where the Colorado Rockies were waiting for them.
The Red Sox and the Rockies dance in the Fall Classic
Here we are Red Sox Nation, back in the World Series and ready to bring another championship home to Boston. The Rockies were a formidable foe as they had absolutely dominated the playoffs by sweeping the Diamondbacks and Phillies. A path much different than Boston had to take but with the same destination.
Unfortunately for Colorado, their storybook run to the World Series would soon hit a massive speed bump. If you recall, the Sox got a damn supercharge from that Cleveland series much like when they beat the Yankees in ’04. The Rockies may have been a good team, but they weren’t any match for that Boston squad.
Beckett was going off the charts with how good he was. Seriously, the man was unhittable and left batter after batter in his wake of destruction. Curt Schilling offered a veteran presence that this mix of age and youth relied upon. And when the games got into the deep water, Pap would stomp to the mound to the tune of “Shipping up to Boston,” and shut down the opposition.
When you look at the two squads both had some serious heavy hitters that rose to the occasion. But when it mattered the most, it was the Sox that came up with their arm raised. As great as it was to see Manny and Papi do what they do best, it was the young guys I remember the most from that squad.
Pedroia and Ellsbury were both rookies that season and made serious impacts in October. In fact, Pedroia would be named the 2007 Rookie of the Year. Not a bad first season the Majors. The two were a smaller, faster version of Ortiz and Ramirez. They were constantly smacking the ball around the park and when they’d get on base they weren’t staying still for long. It was a hell of a sight to see.
The most emotional part of that championship has to be Jon Lester. The southpaw had made his return with a clean bill of health that year and would find himself in a big spot that October. Lester would take the mound in Game 4 with the Red Sox up 3-0 in the series. He’d toss 5.1 innings of scoreless ball while striking out three and walking a trio as well. It will forever go down as one of the best Boston sports moments in my mind.
This series would end just like it did in 2004, a clean sweep for the Red Sox and their second World Series crown in four years. As fans of this team, we had been conditioned to often feel disappointment after so many letdowns.
Winning the Commissioner’s Trophy twice in a handful of years was something I thought I’d never see, and Boston was far from done. I truly feel that even if they hadn’t won in 2004, this squad would’ve gotten it done. Not only were they absolutely stacked in the talent department but they would’ve had another four years to fester. Colorado came to give Boston a fight, it was simply too much of a mismatch for the team from the Mile High City.