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
Jon Lester #31 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox top postseason performer No. 3: Jon Lester, 2013

Absolutely everything had to go right for the 2013 Boston Red Sox to win the World Series, and that’s just how things went for that team. A pieced together starting rotation ended up turning into one of the most dangerous units in baseball, and without Jon Lester, that would not have been possible. Lester was the rotation’s de facto leader all season long, and he only got better as the lights got brighter.

Lester got the nod in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Rays, and he actually struggled to start, putting the Sox in a 2-0 hole by the time the fifth inning rolled around. But the bats finally woke up, and Lester would come away with a win. He went 7.2 innings, giving up just two runs while striking out seven.

Lester’s next outing came against the Detroit Tigers in Game 1, and even though we was superb, going 6.1 innings while giving up just one run, the offense couldn’t muster a single run, making Lester the tough luck loser. Lester again got the ball in the pivotal Game 5, and while he didn’t have his best stuff, he did just enough to pull out a victory this time around.

Lester really made his mark on the World Series, and you can make a case he got robbed of World Series MVP. In Game 1, Lester continued his hot streak by holding the St. Louis Cardinals scoreless through 7.2 innings while picking up eight strikeouts. He followed that up with a nearly identical line in Game 5, once again going 7.2 innings with seven strikeouts. His lone blemish in the World Series was a solo home run off the bat of Matt Holiday in Game 5.

In all honesty, you could make a compelling case to switch Lester and Beckett in ’07, as Becket was probably more consistent throughout. But Lester’s all-time performance in the World Series gives him a leg up on Beckett here. If it weren’t for the next entry on our list, you would probably be more familiar with Lester’s accomplishments during the 2013 postseason.