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
Starting pitcher Josh Beckett #19 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox top postseason performer No. 4: Josh Beckett, 2007

Josh Beckett was never the most consistent pitcher, but when he had his stuff, he was lights out. And for pretty much the entire 2007 season, Beckett had his best stuff. He finished second in the American League Cy Young race to C.C. Sabathia, but Beckett got something that Sabathia didn’t in 2007, and that was a World Series ring. A big reason why Beckett got a ring was because of his own performance, which included him outdueling Sabathia twice in the ALCS against Cleveland.

Throughout the 2007 postseason, Beckett made four starts, and picked up four wins in those starts. It was clear early on that when Beckett took the mound for Boston, they had a very good shot at winning that contest. Beckett kicked off the ALDS with a masterclass performance against the Angels, pitching a complete game while scattering just four hits throughout the outing. It set the tone for what was to come in the ALCS and the World Series.

Beckett squared off against Sabathia in Game 1 in the ALCS against the Indians, and outdueled him by a substantial margin. Becket went six innings giving up two runs, but the lineup got eight runs off Sabathia, and put the game to bed pretty quickly. Beckett and Sabathia would toe the rubber again in Game 5, but the circumstances were much different from their last battle. Cleveland had raced out to a 3-1 series lead, meaning the Sox season was on the line.

Even with Sabathia rebounding and going six innings, it didn’t matter because of how good Beckett was. He went eight innings, giving up just one run, while striking out 11 in the process. Beckett rejuvenated a seemingly deflated Sox team, and they rallied to win Games 6 & 7, sending Boston back to the World Series.

Due to the Sox dominating the Colorado Rockies and sweeping them in four games, Beckett was only called on for Game 1, and once again he stepped up and delivered. He went seven innings, giving up just one run, and struck out nine batters. Even if Colorado ended up forcing a Game 5, they wouldn’t have stood a chance with the way Beckett was pitching.

Beckett caught on fire and helped rally the Red Sox to a World Series victory. His Game 5 outing against Cleveland has to be considered one of the greatest in franchise history with all things considered. Without Beckett on the rubber that night, Boston’s season probably would have ended that night, highlighting his importance to that team.