Red Sox didn’t follow the road map, but got to their destination

The Sox were forever recalculating, becoming what they have so rarely have been: a team that relied on dominant pitching while the offense scratched for runs.

On Opening Day at Fenway Park, Red Sox players lined up during the national anthem before beating the Pirates, 5-3. –John Tlumacki/Globe staff

Spring training is the starting point for a baseball team, with the postseason as its preferred destination. For the Red Sox, it was a six-month journey with a GPS that was always being forced to find a new route.

Starting pitcher David Price, the team’s highest-paid player, missed the first two months of the season.


Craig Kimbrel struck out 126 of the 254 batters he faced in the regular season and finished with a 1.43 ERA. —Barry Chin/Globe Staff
As outfielders Rajai Davis (25), Andrew Benintendi, and Jackie Bradley Jr. did their Win, Dance, Repeat celebration, relief pitcher Joe Kelly (center) photobombed them as he ran in from the bullpen to join the party. —Jim Davis/Globe Staff
Manny Machado jumped out of the way of Chris Sale pitch that went behind him. That prompted a warning to both teams by the home plate umpire. —Jim Davis/Globe Staff
Chris Sale was christened with champagne and beer after the Red Sox won the AL East. He is the Sox’ Game 1 starter in the ALDS. —Barry Chin/Globe Staff

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