2009: AL wild card champions
Looking to make the playoffs for the third straight year, the Red Sox were able to reel off an impressive 95 wins, but it was well short of the Yankees 103, which easily gave them the AL East title over the Red Sox.
For the fourth time in a row, the Red Sox faced the Los Angeles Angels in the ALDS, with the Red Sox 9-1 in the previous three series. This time would be drastically different, however, as the Angels would storm out and take the first two games in California 5-0 and 4-1.
The Red Sox looked ready to send the series to at least four games after taking a 6-4 lead into the ninth inning, and with Jonathan Papelbon on the mound, they quickly recorded the first two outs of the inning. Papelbon would uncharacteristically falter, however, allowing a two-strike single, a walk, and a double to score one, then a two-strike, two-run home run to give the Angels a 7-6 lead, one they would keep to win the game and sweep the Red Sox out of the playoffs.