Three of the four MLB division series have one team in an 0-2 hole. This isn’t a great spot to be in a best-of-five series, but it’s a very great spot for hearing the emptiest and most hackneyed postgame platitudes that athlete speak has to offer. Some highlights from this weekend, grouped by team strategy:
Get existential: This isn’t just about how you played, it’s about who you are, man. The Boston Red Sox have not lost a few games here, they’ve lost their identity—to lose this series is not simply to end a season, but to throw into question their very ideas of themselves.
“I think we’ve lost who we are,” second baseman Dustin Pedroia said to reporters following Friday’s loss.
Who are you, Dustin?
“We’re the Boston Red Sox.”
And how does a team go about finding its missing identity if they are the Boston Red Sox?
“Just play. You just compete against the other team. That’s it.”
Pedroia shows a strong understanding of what baseball is and what teams do. And if there was confusion about the team’s direction, David Ortiz is here to clarify: “Got to hit better and pitch better.”
Maybe there’s hope for the Red Sox, after all.
This is the end: This is it. The Texas Rangers are aware of that fact, and perhaps of their own mortality writ large.
“There’s no tomorrow,” third baseman Adrian Beltre told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
An impending sense of doom shared by his beloved teammate Elvis Andrus: “It’s do or die.”
Be super chill, because you’ve been here before and you know how even years work: “We’ve been down in the first series 0-2 before, but not in this exact position,” San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence said. “Every year is a different year.”
Indeed. Some years are odd, and other years feature Conor Gillaspie keeping your team’s season alive with a dinger.