Red Sox roster move has unexpected World Series consequences

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 31: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Houston Astros hits a two-RBI single against the Atlanta Braves during the fifth inning in Game Five of the World Series at Truist Park on October 31, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 31: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Houston Astros hits a two-RBI single against the Atlanta Braves during the fifth inning in Game Five of the World Series at Truist Park on October 31, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Marwin González, released by the Red Sox in August, came up clutch for the Astros in the World Series

A routine roster move made by the Boston Red Sox during the 2021 regular season may have just turned the tides in the World Series.

In mid-August, the Sox released Marwin González, the veteran utility man whom they’d signed to a one-year deal in February. He rejoined the Houston Astros for the remainder of the season, appearing in 14 games for the team with whom he debuted in 2012 and spent the first seven years of his career.

His regular season was largely unremarkable with both teams. He hit .202/.281/.285 with a .567 OPS over 77 games for Boston, and .176/.222/.441 with a .663 OPS once back with Houston.

Then, in Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night, González came in to pinch-hit for Jose Urquidy in the top of the fifth. Atlanta Braves pitcher A.J. Minter had intentionally walked Alex Bregman and unintentionally walked Martin Maldonado to tie the game 5-5.

With two outs, González roped a single to left to score two, giving the Astros their first lead of the night.

This was González’s first hit since October 3. Ironically, it was his first postseason RBI since Game 5 of the 2018 ALCS against, you guessed it, the Red Sox.

Between 2015-2020, González appeared in 35 postseason games. He hit .230/.304/.372 with a .676 OPS, seven doubles, three home runs, 13 RBI, and 11 runs scored. He drew eight walks and struck out 30 times. He’d gone hitless in two prior at-bats in this World Series as well.

With the numbers the 32-year-old put up in the regular season, it’s no surprise the Red Sox released him. The most memorable thing he did was start the season at four different defensive positions to make MLB history, but it was largely downhill from there.

However, with the Sox knocked out of the ALCS by the Astros, “What if?” was the question on Red Sox fans’ minds on Sunday night.

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