Red Sox

Emotional 9th inning vs Indians leaves Red Sox teetering on verge of total demoralization

Emotional 9th inning vs Indians leaves Red Sox teetering on verge of total demoralization

CLEVELAND -- It's getting a little late in the season for moral victories, but the timing is feeling just about right for hopelessly demoralizing losses.

Monday night at Progressive Field had some elements of the former but ultimately felt exclusively like the latter after the Indians erased a Red Sox comeback from 5-1 down with one swing of Carlos Santana's bat for the walk-off 6-5 victory.

In losing for the 12th time in 15 games, the Red Sox found a different kind of low. This one wasn't about being outclassed from the first pitch or overmatched in the bullpen. It was an honest-to-goodness rally that left potential heroes like Xander Bogaerts barely able to break a whisper when it went for naught.

Bogaerts' two-out double off the outstretched glove of right fielder Tyler Naquin had tied it with the Red Sox down to their last out in the ninth. But reliever Marcus Walden, who hadn't allowed a hit since late July, hung a slider and Santana blasted it out the other way to left-center leading off the bottom of the frame.

The momentum from the top of the ninth hadn't even dried when the Indians painted right over it.

"It was joyful for a quick five minutes," Bogaerts said.

What a killer. Trailing 5-1 in the third, the Red Sox chipped away. They rallied on solo homers from J.D. Martinez and Jackie Bradley Jr., an RBI double from Brock Holt, and then Bogaerts' shot to right that eluded the stab of Naquin, who had earlier robbed Martinez of extra bases with a leaping catch at the fence.

"It's just the kind of night it was," Walden said. "Bogey's hit the top of the wall and theirs didn't."

Human nature being what it is, the Red Sox could be forgiven for just accepting that this isn't their season. They've fallen so far out of the playoff race, citing the standings feels needlessly cruel. (But for those who must know: they trail the Twins by 10.5 games, the Rays by eight games, and the first runner-up A's by 6.5).

Their deficit is entering insurmountable territory, which might explain the feeling of despair in the postgame clubhouse. Bogaerts wore the loss particularly hard, which makes sense, because he has played as hard as anyone this year.

"It's rough, man, especially knowing how important every game is from now forward," Bogaerts said. "Obviously I think that inning, from scoring in the ninth, they might've been a bit down. But Santana picked up his closer big time. That's how this game goes sometimes.

"It's tough, man. I don't know what to say."

He was asked specifically about finding a way not to become demoralized.

"I wish I knew," he said. "Try not to think about it as much. I know everyone in this room cares a lot. It's really frustrating and annoying when the results aren't the way you want them to be."

Manager Alex Cora tried to find the silver lining.

"Honestly, it's tough because I do feel this is one of the best games we've played in a while as far as being locked in, grinding at-bats," he said. "That's a good baseball team over there, everybody knows, we were in a hole, we kept fighting, fighting, fighting, we found a way to tie the game but then that happens. Waldy has been outstanding for us for a while, it just happened he hung a breaking ball there, but it's one of those that hey, it really sucks but at the same time, we did a lot of good things today that we haven't done in a while, so that's a positive."

A year after watching everything go right en route to a dominant World Series season, the Red Sox just don't have it. While Cora needs to believe Monday's loss provided hope for better days, his players feel more resigned to their fate.

At some point, the losses simply become too much to take.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Diamondbacks hire long-time Red Sox scout Gary Hughes

Diamondbacks hire long-time Red Sox scout Gary Hughes

The Red Sox are working toward cleaning out their front office by firing Dave Dombrowski and letting go of executive Frank Wren and scout Eddie Bane, and now it appears they've lost a long-time scout to Arizona. 

According to Bob Nightengale, the Diamondbacks have hired veteran scout Gary Hughes to work with Mike Hazen and the Arizona front office.

Hazen is a part of Theo Epstein's tree of baseball executives, and Nightengale notes that much of the Diamondbacks' staff has Boston ties and raves about Hughes' scouting ability. 

The Red Sox hired Hughes in 2012 and he's been with the club ever since. He also had past stops with the Cubs, Yankees, Expos, Marlins, Rockies and Reds. Losing him will surely hurt the Red Sox moving forward. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

How did World Series champions who missed the subsequent postseason respond the year after?

How did World Series champions who missed the subsequent postseason respond the year after?

With a loss to the Rays and an Indians win over the Phillies, the Red Sox were officially eliminated from playoff contention in a season following their World Series championship. 

Boston has won 4 titles in the last 15 years, a mark no other team has matched in the same time frame. But the last two times the Red Sox have won it all, they failed to make it past September the following season. 

After winning the World Series in 2013 with a magical bearded run following the Boston Marathon bombings, the Red Sox finished with a 71-91 record, which was good for last place in the AL East. They followed up 2004's championship with a first-round sweep to the eventual champion White Sox and then fell to the Rays in Game 7 of the ALCS in 2008. 

Fortunately for the Red Sox, it's become pretty common for a World Series hangover to last an entire season after the fact. Boston is now the 10th team since 2000 to miss the postseason after hoisting that World Series trophy. 

Of course, we know what those teams did after they won it all, but what happened the year after they failed to get back? How many bounced back vs completely faded away?


The Angels followed up their first championship in franchise history with a letdown year in 2003. They finished 77-85 and finished third in their division. However, they returned to form in 2004 and took back the AL West crown. The addition of Vladimir Guerrero certainly helped. The 29-year-old superstar won the AL MVP in his first season with the Angels, hitting .337 with 39 home runs and 126 RBI. The Angels would eventually get swept in the ALDS by the eventual champion Red Sox.


The Marlins shocked the world by beating the Yankees in the 2003 Fall Classic, but finished third in the NL East the season after. Things didn't get much better for them in 2005 either. Sure, they had a better record, but they once again fell to third place and would eventually trade Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit and send ace Josh Beckett to the Red Sox. This is probably the path the Red Sox want to avoid. The Marlins have been one of baseball's worst over the last 10 years. 


After winning the World Series in 2005, Chicago went 90-72 the following season. A strong showing, but the AL Central was a powerhouse that year. The Tigers and Twins made the postseason over them. The year following, the White Sox went 72-90 and haven't been a real threat in the American League since. 


St. Louis won its first championship since 1967 in 2006, but missed the playoffs the next two seasons after. Cardinals fans wouldn't be disappointed for long though, as they won another title in 2011 in an epic series with the Rangers. 


Ah, the Giants. Kings of winning a World Series, missing the playoffs and then bouncing back to win another. The Giants missed the postseason after winning it all in 2010, but then came back the following year to beat the Tigers in the World Series. Few will forget Sergio Romo striking out Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to close out the series for San Francisco. 


Look who it is! It's the Giants yet again! The 2014 run was how Madison Bumgarner became one of the best big-game pitchers of all time. He carried the Giants staff on an incredible workload to lift the Giants to their third championship in five years. They're the only team close to the Red Sox' level of success since the turn of the century. 

2015 RED SOX

The Red Sox were terrible in 2014, and while they weren't as bad in 2015, they still finished last in the AL East and below .500. Fortunately they would win the next three straight division titles to go with a World Series in 2018, but sometimes the reload takes a bit longer than you'd want from a team that was able to reach the pinnacle of their profession. Age most certainly played a factor for Boston here. 


Everyone assumed the Giants would bounce back for the fourth time and win another World Series after missing the playoffs in an odd-numbered year. Alas, it wasn't meant to be, and the Giants would miss the playoffs for the second straight season. They have not been back to the postseason since. 


The Royals took down the Mets in 2015 to finally get their World Series championship after falling to the Giants in 2014. The next two season would not be kind to the Royals, where they missed the playoffs both seasons with a record around .500. Kansas City is now one of the worst teams in baseball, but at least they got one. 

2020 RED SOX?

The Red Sox have a lot of questions to answer regarding their roster with Dave Dombrowski officially out as President of Baseball Operations. J.D. Martinez can opt-out of his current deal for a pay raise, and Mookie Betts' extension weighs over the franchise's head too. After a season like 2019, Boston needs to upgrade their pitching staff, but they might not be able to if they want to commit resources to their best players. Boston could be in trouble moving forward. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.