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
Manny Ramirez #24 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox top postseason performer No. 9: Manny Ramirez, 2007

Manny Ramirez deserves credit for being one of the greatest postseason performers in MLB history. Oftentimes, the added pressure of needing to deliver for your team on the biggest stage can get to even the best players in the league. But Ramirez was simply immune to that, batting .285 with 29 home runs and 78 runs batted in over 111 playoff games. Those 29 home runs are the most by a single player in postseason history too for what it’s worth.

Ramirez simply never succumbed to the pressures of the postseason, and that was never more true than Boston’s 2007 World Series run. Ramirez was the motor of Boston’s offense during the ALDS and ALCS, and while he loses some points for cooling off in the World Series, he was still an instrumental part of their success during that series too.

Ramirez started his postseason onslaught in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Los Angeles Angels. With the score tied at 3-3 in the bottom on the ninth, Ramirez found himself at the plate with two on and two out, and a chance to win the game. Ramirez didn’t just end the game; he obliterated a fastball all the way over the Green Monster, sending Fenway Park into a frenzy. Jose Bautista may get credit for “inventing” the bat flip, but this at bat says otherwise.

Ramirez struck again in Game 3, going back-to-back with David Ortiz to help give Boston all the run support they would need to sweep the Angels right out of the playoffs. Ramirez somehow managed to find a way to step up his performance in the ALCS against the Cleveland Indians, and helped the Sox rally from a 3-1 deficit to find their back to the World Series for the first time since 2004.

Against Cleveland, when the Sox won, they won by a large margin, and Ramirez was at the forefront of the offensive attack each game. In Game 1, Ramirez went 2-2, but drew three walks, two of which drove in runs. The Indians simply did not want to pitch to Ramirez, and even once they did later on in the series, he made them pay for it.

Ramirez would drive in three more runs in Game 2, giving the Sox a 6-5 lead off of a two run home run, but the bullpen would eventually cough up that slim lead. Excluding Game 3, in which the lineup went ice cold, Ramirez would drive in at least one run in each of the four remaining games. Cleveland simply could not get him out, and he seemed to be an almost automatic source of runs throughout the series.

Ramirez’s performance in the ALCS earned him the MVP honors, and rightfully so. He wasn’t nearly as effective in the World Series against the Colorado Rockies, but luckily for him, he didn’t have to be because the Red Sox swept them in four games. Without Ramirez’s outstanding play in the first two series’ though, Boston probably doesn’t get the opportunity to win that ring, making Ramirez an easy inclusion on this list.