With an honorable mention to the Orioles for their part in the 2011 debacle (and pretty much owning the Red Sox since), it’s safe to say that the Yankees and Rays have dealt the worst blows to the Red Sox from 2008-2012 (2008’s ALCS loss to the Rays in 7 games and 2011’s ultra-squander to the Rays, completed when the Yankees folded late against the Rays in Game 162, being the biggest examples).
This year the Red Sox went 13-6 against the Yankees in the regular season and played a significant part in showing the Yankees the door in September…the Yankees got as close as 1 game back of the second wild card after the games of 9/12, but were 3 back after that weekend’s series at Fenway and never got closer than 2.5 after that. They went 1-6 against the Red Sox in September.
The Red Sox went 15-8 against the Rays this season, including postseason play (12-7 in the reggalah), and didn’t just show them the door, but grabbed them by the collar and kicked them through it. And all this after the Rays’ heroic efforts in what turned out to be three subsequent elimination games leading to an ALDS match with the AL’s best team (by record and run differential).
Honestly, I’d love to win it all, but coming in the wake of 2011/2012 and as redemption for those seasons and the painful loss in 2008…this has already been a supreme season. I look forward to seeing where it goes, but today I am utterly content. There’s a game each of the next three days to enjoy from our lofty perch (PIT-STL, DET-OAK, NLCS 1) while we wait for the show to continue on Saturday; Lester gets ALCS Game 1 instead of an elimination game this Thursday, while our eventual ALCS opponent will hopefuly wear themselves out on Thursday, and all is right with the world.