Boston Red Sox: Top 10 postseason performances of the 21st century

David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox
David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox top postseason performer No. 2: David Ortiz, 2013

It’s hard to imagine where the Red Sox would be without the contributions of David Ortiz. Ortiz was so instrumental to the championships in 2004, 2007, and 2013 that it bears wondering whether or not the Sox would have won those titles without Ortiz on the roster. It’s not really surprising that in the series’ Ortiz struggled in throughout his time in Boston, they would end up losing.

One of the rare cases where that wasn’t true was the 2013 ALCS, but we will get to that in a moment. In the ALDS against the Rays, Ortiz was solid if unspectacular. He did most of his damage in Game 2, homering twice off of future Red Sox starter David Price, but otherwise was pretty quiet for the series.

The Sox moved on anyways, setting up a showdown with the heavily favored Tigers. Ortiz struggled mightily in this series, as he picked up just two hits and finished with a batting average of .091. But Ortiz’s penchant for timely hitting prevailed, and it probably saved Boston’s season.

Things weren’t looking good for the Sox in Game 2, as they were trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, and were on the verge of falling behind in the series 2-0. Ortiz found his way to the plate with the bases loaded and two out, and smoked a grand slam just over the reach of Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter that ended up tying the game at five apiece. The Sox would win the game in the next inning, and ended up winning the series in six games.

Ortiz didn’t do much in the ALCS, but that changed quickly in the World Series. Ortiz finished the series hitting an absurd .688, which is even more shocking considering how badly he struggled the series before. He hit a home run in a Game 1 blowout, and accounted for Boston’s only two runs in their Game 2 loss. He was quiet in Game 3, and Boston quickly found themselves in a 2-1 hole.

But Ortiz upped the ante again, saving Boston’s in the process. He went 3-3 in Game 4, and came around to score twice in a game the Sox won by just two runs. He went 3-4 in Game 5, and kicked off the scoring with a huge RBI double. And while he went hitless in his one at bat in Game 6, he drew four walks and came around to score twice. By then, the Cardinals were basically done pitching to Ortiz.

A .688 batting average for any postseason series seems absurd, but for the man known as “Big Papi” in Boston, it was just baseball. Ortiz provided one of the biggest hits in Red Sox history, and then followed it up with a series in which he committed just five outs in 25 plate appearences. Not too shabby, but it’s safe to say that this wasn’t even Ortiz’s best postseason performance. That would be…