After the Red Sox were eliminated this afternoon, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein addressed a few topics on Game 3’s brutal loss and the series and season in general. He is expected to hold a press conference tomorrow to take questions on the upcoming offseason. Here are some of his reflections on the moment.
Was this randomness of a short series?
“No, that sounds like a crutch. I think we got outplayed in this series. We didn’t play our best baseball. We didn’t play all that well, all things told, over these last three games. And they certainly did. They deserve it. They outplayed us fair and square and deserve to move on. You have to be a really good and play really well to win in the playoffs. We didn’t play well in this series.”
Are there things that concerned in this series that you will respond to, or would that be an overreaction?
“Maybe some nuances, but nothing new. Only things that were reflected earlier in the season as well if you look at the larger sample as well. But, no, I think you can’t make decisions based on any three games. I don’t think anything that occurred in this series came completely out of the blue, either. There were times we struggled hitting on the road this series. This year, there were times we struggled hitting on the road. There were certain things that went down during this series that were foreshadowed during the regular season as well. That said, I think we were a good team capable of winning the World Series, and had we played better, we’d still be playing right now.”
Was it surprising how the game was lost?
“Yeah, it is a surprise. Our bullpen is strong. We had a nice lead, we had the shadows. We had a little bit of momentum. They scrapped hard in the late innings, and we weren’t able to put guys away. We had a lot of guys up 0-2, two strikes, and we weren’t able to put guys away. They had good at-bats when they needed to. They made the plays. Like I said a lot better, they played a lot better.”
How long does something like this linger?
“It kind of always lingers. You find your mind going back to postseasons past and the last game. I still think about ’03. I still think about 2005 and last year. And now I’ll think about this. You don’t find yourself too often thinking about a Tuesday game against Seattle in April. Just as the times you win series, those stay in your memory bank, so do these. It’s part of life. It’s part of reality.”
Do you see the last three years – World Series, ALCS, ALDS – as a downward trend?
“No. The way I look at it, we’ve had sort of two three-year runs in the postseason. We swept the World Series twice. We’ve been eliminated in the ALCS Game 7 twice. And we’ve been swept in the first round twice. We couldn’t have predicted it any time. We were prepared to go on a nice long run. As I said a couple weeks ago, and as I’ve said the past seven years, the goal of this organization is to try to win 95 games in the regular season, get into the postseason with as good of a team as we possibly can, and play our tails off and try and win a World Series. We didn’t play well in this series. That’s a disappointment. We have to live with that.”