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
Enrique Hernandez #5 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox top postseason performer No. 8: Kike Hernandez, 2021

Unlike everyone else on this list, Kike Hernandez did not help contribute to a World Series winning team in Boston. That doesn’t take away from the fact that he was probably the biggest reason the Red Sox made it all the way to the ALCS this season. Dubbed “the hottest hitter in baseball” for a stretch of the postseason, Hernandez powered the Red Sox lineup through the heavily favored Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS, and initially helped make another upset over the Houston Astros seem likely in the ALCS.

Like the rest of the Sox lineup, Hernandez caught on fire in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Rays. He went 5-6 in the game, with four of the hits being of the extra base variety (three doubles, one home run), drove in three runs, and came around to score three times too. From that moment on, a postseason legend was born.

In Game 3, Hernandez would tie the game early on at two with an RBI single in the third inning, and then provided another solo home run that would eventually be crucial in sending the game to extra innings, a game Boston would end up winning nonetheless.

Hernandez wasn’t as good in Game 4, but with two runners in scoring position and just one out in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth, Hernandez found himself at the plate, and delivered a series-winning sacrifice fly to send the Red Sox to the ALCS.

Hernandez kept rolling into the ALCS, and nearly single handedly powered the Sox to a Game 1 victory. He went 4-5 with a pair of solo home runs in a losing effort for Boston. He would follow that up with another solo shot in Game 2 and a pair of hits in Game 3. After that though, Hernandez went cold, and so did the rest of Boston’s lineup.

Hernandez’s efforts were ultimately in vain, but that doesn’t take away from his extraordinary accomplishments. Without Hernandez, Boston certainly doesn’t beat Tampa Bay, and their lineup doesn’t produce in a similar fashion against Houston. Here’s hoping Hernandez can create another entry on this list next postseason with the Red Sox.