4 Biggest ‘What ifs’ of the Boston Red Sox postseason
What if Alex Cora hadn’t stuck with the same lineup throughout the ALCS?
This one’s hard, because the Sox didn’t have enough bench depth to make impactful lineup changes.
However, leaving Hunter Renfroe in the lineup for every game when he literally made postseason history in the worst way felt like shooting someone who was already dead: not productive, and would only lead to a bigger mess.
Over six ALCS games, Renfroe hit .063/.250/.125 with a .375 OPS; it feels irresponsible to even call that hitting. He managed one hit, and it was in Game 1. Going 1-for-16 in the series, he walked four times and struck out eight. He ground into more double plays than he had actual hits.
JD Martinez was also a problem throughout the postseason run. He hurt his ankle on the final day of the regular season and missed the Wild Card game and beginning of the ALDS as a result. Like most of his teammates, Martinez was hot early in the ALCS, with a pair of two-hit games in Game 2 and 3, but then went ice-cold, going 0-for-6 in Games 4-6 with three walks and six strikeouts. The Sox need more from the guy who inherited David Ortiz’s heavy postseason mantle. Heavy is the head that wears the crown.
Ultimately, knowing that the team needs more depth off the bench should serve as an offseason guide to build better for 2022. It’s not so much a ‘What if’ as a ‘What we know we need now.’