Apr. 21—I’m not waiting until the all-star break, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Mother’s Day or May 1.
I’ve seen enough. By Patriots Day.
The Boston Red Sox aren’t going away. That’s right, they will be there by the end of September.
As for October? Maybe. A few more things have to come together — see Chris Sale’s arm after rehabbing Tommy John surgery.
But this crazy 11 a.m. game on Patriots Day, which seems to be nuisance, but a traditional nuisance, was revealing..
For the Red Sox it was another day to show something we haven’t seen much of since the World Series win in 2018.
We have, though, seen some small sample sizes of “moxie” already in 2021.
Moxie is toughness — physical and mental. It’s when the chips appear down, but the intestinal fortitude of the collective group overcomes.
We saw en masse the first week of the season when the Red Sox couldn’t hit their way out of a paper bag and were swept by the Baltimore Orioles. At Fenway Park.
The fast start we said was of vital importance was not going to happen. But then it did. They not only beat the defending American League champs, Tampa Bay, three straight, but they rattled off nine straight wins in all.
The best part of that run was that everybody and everything — starting pitching, relief pitching, power hitting, base-running, game-saving defensive plays and, my personal fave, late-inning heroics — was meshing.
Fast forward to this weekend against a very talented Chicago White Sox team.
The Red Sox get Game 1 breaking a 3-3 tie in the 8th inning with four runs, highlighted by a Marwin Gonzalez homer. They lost a pair of tough ones on Sunday in the seven-inning double-header, 3-2 and 5-1.
Which brought us to Patriots Day. The Red Sox needed this 11 a.m. game. While losing three straight is common, it would’ve added a pall over this great start.
The fact the Red Sox were facing a future star in Lukas Giolito, who finished seventh and sixth the last two years in A.L. Cy Young Award voting, made it a more difficult problem.
Oh yeah, and the White Sox opened with a quick run in the top of the first inning.
How did the Red Sox respond?
The first six batters got hits off Giolito and six runs before the inning was over.
J.D. Martinez opened the second inning with a homer and Rafael Devers walked. Giolito was relieved of his duties.
Folks, that was huge on Patriots Day, an eventual 11-4 win.
If there was a defining moment for this 2021 team it was in a 4-3 loss in Minnesota.
Trailing 3-0 in the eighth with two outs and the bases loaded, Alex Verdugo went down 0-and-2. But he hung around, getting to 10 pitches, and slapped a line drive down the left field line to clear the bases.
The Red Sox lost, but they really won.
That’s what good baseball teams do. They hang around. And they play hard until the last out.
I don’t care what the bookmakers say. The 2021 Red Sox are not going away folks. This is not a myth or the Orioles one-every-five-years-quick-start-late-fold here.
And I didn’t see that statement from this guy, this early, coming.
You can email Bill Burt at [email protected].