Many Boston Red Sox fans were frustrated by the team’s approach at the 2021 trade deadline.
The club added slugger Kyle Schwarber in a trade with the Washington Nationals, but beyond that, the Red Sox didn’t do much.
Many folks in Boston were unsatisfied.
But those people are likely eating their words today.
After Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card Game, it’s clear that Boston’s trade for Schwarber was one of the best deals of the 2021 MLB season.
It’s a lot harder to complain about the Red Sox’s deadline approach today than it was a couple of months ago.
Schwarber’s Stellar Wild Card Game
Schwarber batted leadoff for the Red Sox in Tuesday’s Wild Card Game.
He certainly did his job, as he reached base in two out of his four plate appearances.
But not all of those plate appearances were created equal.
With the Red Sox leading 2-0 in the third inning, Schwarber rocked Yankees starter Gerrit Cole for a homer to right field.
Kyle Schwarber takes Cole deep 🔥
Boston's 2nd homer already 👀 pic.twitter.com/548yDmD5ho
— ESPN (@espn) October 6, 2021
After Schwarber’s blast, it was clear that Cole’s night wasn’t going to be a good one.
The Red Sox ended up knocking him out of the game just two batters later.
In total, the righty gave up three runs over two-plus innings of work.
Not his best outing to say the least.
Schwarber Has Been A Difference-Maker Ever Since Putting On A Red Sox Uniform
Although Schwarber’s great night against New York was the cherry on top, let’s not forget how good the 28-year-old has been for several months.
In 41 regular-season games in a Red Sox uniform, he posted some MVP-caliber numbers.
He slashed .291/.435/.522 and registered a 154 OPS+.
He homered seven times and doubled 10 times.
He also racked up a WAR of 1.3, good for a 162-game pace of 5.2.
Plus, when the Red Sox were battling for their playoff lives over the final couple of weeks of the regular season, Schwarber rose to the occasion.
He batted .342 with a whopping 1.184 OPS over his final 14 regular-season games.
With Boston’s season on the line, you couldn’t have asked for much more than that.
Can He Keep Things Rolling In The ALDS?
Schwarber is an underrated playoff performer, and now that the Red Sox are in the ALDS, we’re going to get an extended look at the former first-round pick in the postseason.
He has a career slash line of .290/.410/.609 over 25 playoff games.
If you recall, he was a key part of the Chicago Cubs’ World Series title in 2016.
In that World Series, he batted .412 with a .971 OPS.
He earned every bit of that championship ring.
— Cubs Zone ™️ (@CubsZone) October 25, 2020
But don’t you think he’d love to get another?
The Red Sox remain massive underdogs in their pursuit of the 2021 World Series, but you can’t count this team out.
Schwarber and company are clearly ready to empty the tank to try to capture the title.
Boston’s trade for Schwarber should already be considered a success no matter what happens from here on out, but the deal would become an all-timer if the Red Sox were to win the 2021 World Series with him.