Red Sox

Here’s why the Red Sox have ‘a bit of an opportunity’ for a World Series bid, per Eduardo Rodriguez

"This isn’t just another year for the Red Sox."

Eduardo Rodriguez
Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez reacts er right fielder Hunter Renfroe made a nice sliding catch. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The Red Sox have pushed back publicly all year against the preseason narrative that they were a middle-of-the-road roster.

On Sunday, after helping the Red Sox secure their second sweep of the Yankees with a 9-2 victory, Eduardo Rodriguez was willing to go a little further.

“I feel like this team, we have a bit of an opportunity to go to the World Series,” Rodriguez said. “We just have to go out there and like I said, win every series we can, and that’s the only way to get in the playoffs.”

Last week, Alex Cora offered his own explanation for his team’s success.

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““If you take a look at the guys that we have in this roster, they have to earn everything that they have,” Cora told reporters. “We’ve got a bunch of grinders, a bunch of guys that on other teams they didn’t play that much. They’re getting their opportunity to play here. We just like to play baseball. It’s a good baseball team.”

“At the end of the day, you tell us where and when, what time, it doesn’t matter,” he added. “We will push until the end, no matter the result.

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On Sunday, the Red Sox followed their usual pattern for wins: The offense exploded, and the pitching was good enough. Rodriguez allowed just five hits and two runs in his six innings pitched, and he struck out eight batters.

The offense gave him plenty of breathing room early. Kiké Hernandez homered on the first pitch of the game, and Rafael Devers — currently the leader in All-Star voting among third basemen in the American League — blasted a 450-foot three-run homer as part of a four-run in the first inning that gave Rodriguez a nice cushion.

“We’re hitting a lot,” Rodriguez said. “The starting pitchers, I think we’re getting better the last couple starts, and we know we’re going to get better every time we go up there. And the whole bullpen is really good, you guys see it every day.

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“And our hitters, I mean, they are special. Every time they score runs for us.”

Garrett Whitlock was asked what sweeping the Yankees twice says about this team.

“I think the statement is we’re here to win,” he said. “This isn’t just another year for the Red Sox. We’ve got a competitive team, and we’re trying to go out there and win every single day, and we believe we can win every single day.” 

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