Sep 4, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) points skyward after hitting a home run off Detroit Tigers pitcher Jeremy Bonderman (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Hunt for October is Almost Complete

The 2013 Boston Red Sox entered the season in turmoil. A nightmare collapse in September of 2011, followed by a debacle of a season in 2012, hurt the fan base. Expectations were low as the 2013 campaign started. To say that the Sox exceeded those expectations is certainly an understatement.

In the offseason, management made the right decisions, and brought in high character players to the clubhouse. Entering today the Red Sox are 84-57, 5.5 ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL East lead, and 2.5 games ahead of Detroit for the top seed in the American League.

This team can hit, this team can defend, and this team can pitch. They’ve battled injuries, lost two closers for the season, and have been without their ace since mid-June. Yet they’re still here, still on top of the league. Within the last 30 days, the Sox took two out of three from the Dodgers, the hottest team in baseball, and two out of the three from the Tigers, arguably the deepest team in baseball.

A 5.5 game lead is significant, at this point in the season. Yes, Red Sox fans will be haunted by what happened in 2011, but this isn’t 2011. This team stands by each other. These players care more about the name on the front of the jersey than the name on the back. They battle game-in and game-out. And they’ll continue to do so deep into October.

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