The Red Sox arrived at AT&T Park in San Francisco on June 25 only two games out of first place. After a rocky first few weeks of the season, the Sox were on a roll and seemed destined to find their way in the playoffs.
Then came three body blows:
• Dustin Pedroia fouled a ball off his left foot that night, breaking a bone. He was done for the season outside of two games in August.
• Clay Buchholz strained a hamstring running the bases the next day and didn’t pitch again for nearly a month.
• Victor Martinez broke a bone in his left thumb on Sunday. He didn’t play again until July 26.
The Sox won two of the three games they played that weekend in San Francisco. But they were 43-42 the rest of the way and finished in third place, six games out of the playoffs. They played hard but the injuries were too much to overcome.
The Giants? They were 40-34 when the Sox left town and 4.5 games back. They were 52-36 the rest of the way and are now in the NLCS, four wins away from the World Series.