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) /
11 of 11
Boston Red Sox
David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox top postseason performer No. 1: David Ortiz, 2004

What David Ortiz managed to pull on in 2004 will probably never be done again. Time after time, Ortiz delivered clutch hit after clutch hit, and the Sox rode it all the way to a World Series title. I’m a firm believer that despite all the attention given to the 2004 team for breaking the Curse of the Bambino, Ortiz’s performance is still criminally underrated.

Let’s start with the ALDS. Ortiz drove in the opening run of the series in Game 1, before fading into the background for the rest of that game and Game 2. Ortiz then proceeded to almost single-handedly end Anaheim’s season in Game 3. He scored on a fielder’s choice by Kevin Millar, laced an RBI double, and then ended the game and the series in the bottom of the tenth with a walkoff two run home run. The scary part was Ortiz was just getting started.

Ortiz’s performance in the ALCS against the Yankees is the definition of clutch, and might just be the best individual hitting performance in a postseason series. You can even ignore the first three games of the series if you want, but Ortiz reached base seven times over those three games, and was a thorn in New York’s side the entire way out.

Then came Game 4. Ortiz helped Boston erase an early 2-0 deficit by lacing a two run single into center field, giving Boston a 3-2 lead. The game would eventually make it’s way to extras, with Ortiz supposedly delaying Boston’s inevitable defeat by launching another game-winning two run home run in the bottom of the 12th inning.

In Game 5, Ortiz delivered the goods yet again. He kicked off the scoring with an RBI single in the bottom of the first, but Boston would eventually cough up their lead. Things seemed bleak, as the Sox were down two in the bottom of the eighth, but Ortiz stepped up again and hit a solo shot to cut the deficit to one. The game would once again hit extra innings, and Ortiz once again sent the crowd home happy, this time hitting an RBI single to center with two on and two out in the bottom of the 14th.

Boston wouldn’t trail again in the series. Ortiz did nothing in Game 6, but began the onslaught in Game 7 with a two run home rune in the first inning that would eventually lead to Boston coming all the way back from down 3-0 in the series to win 4-3. Ortiz rightfully won MVP of the series.

Ortiz wasn’t nearly as treacherous in the World Series, but he kicked off the fun with a three run home run in the first inning that set the tone of the entire series. Boston never trailed in the series, and they cruised to a sweep over the Cardinals.

Next. Top 5 rookie seasons in Red Sox franchise history. dark

Truth be told, it’s going to be tough to ever surpass what Ortiz did in the 2004 postseason. The Sox pulled off a pair of extremely improbable wins over the Yankees, and then never let their foot off the pedal. If anyone other than Ortiz found their way to the plate in those situations, there’s not chance that team would have beaten the Yankees. But fortunately for the Red Sox, it was Ortiz at the plate, and he delivered the best postseason performance in franchise history as a result.