Hunter Renfroe tied an embarrassing MLB postseason record in Red Sox ALCS loss
Hunter Renfroe has fallen apart at the worst possible time for the Boston Red Sox.
Instead of stepping up in the ALCS, he has taken a massive step back, and not only could it cost them the series, it’s also historically bad for him, personally.
On Wednesday night, Renfroe went 0-for-3 with a strikeout as the Red Sox fell to the Astros 9-1 in Game 5.
Worse yet, Renfroe tied two MLB records in Game 5, when he ground into his fifth double play of the postseason. According to Alex Speier, Irv Noren of the 1955 Yankees was the only other player in postseason history to have multiple multi-GIDP games in a single postseason. Five GIDP is also the postseason record, so Renfroe tied that, too.
Ironically, the last player to have five GIDP was former Sox infielder Julio Lugo, during the 2007 championship run.
Renfroe started the postseason with a six-game hitting streak that stretched from the Wild Card game through Game 1 of the ALCS. Since then, he is hitless in 11 bats over the last four games, with six strikeouts, though he did have two walks in both Games 3 and 4.
Can the Red Sox re-tie the ALCS in Houston?
That the Red Sox went from setting a postseason record with multiple grand slams to setting one for GIDP is fitting of the feast-or-famine narrative that has surrounded this team all season and for much of the last two decades. They’ve swung from worst to first and back again multiple times, as evidenced by the last-place seasons in between their four championships. While they’ve certainly bounced back faster than most rebuilding teams, the whiplash is starting to sting. Now, in this series, they went from a commanding 2-1 series lead to looking like lifeless victims, down 3-2 to the Astros.
At this point, Renfroe is overdue for the kind of major moment that endeared him to fans in the regular season. After all, he hit 31 homers and drove in 96 runs before the postseason, and led MLB in outfield assists, surpassing any of Mookie Betts’ seasons in Boston.
Hopefully, Renfroe can find his bat power before it’s too late.