Is London Series the Red Sox' springboard? Alex Cora hopes so

Rob Bradford
June 28, 2019 - 11:50 am

LONDON -- It didn't get off to a great start. A nearly-three-hour ride from the airport to the team hotel will do that.

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But since then the Red Sox' stay has gone swimmingly.

After a day with no team commitments (Mookie Betts went golfing), the Sox were back to work at with their workout at London Stadium. And while there was still some pomp and circumstance to be had before the first game of the Sox' two-game set against the Yankees, the reality of what is as stake has started to take hold.

"We’ve been looking for springboards the whole season so if this is the one so be it," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora while meeting with the media Friday afternoon. "Yeah, it has a different feeling. It’s not even the traveling. It’s the clubhouse and the media all the instructions I’m getting from (Media Relations Director) Kevin (Gregg). It has a taste. Going back to springboard, we control that and the way we can come out of this or whatever it is and start playing better baseball and be more consistent. We’ve shown some flashes certain times for three or four times and then we don’t do it. That’s what we’re looking for, try and be consistent and if we do that we’ll be in a good spot."

While a sweep of the Yankees would still only put the Red Sox' seven games in back of the American League East Division leaders, it would certainly send the kind of message the up-and-down Sox have been looking for.

It is a reality that both Saturday's starter Rick Porcello and Mookie Betts understand heading into the weekend.

"Yesterday was my day to enjoy this trip and really experience London and the culture and everything it has to offer. Obviously, when I woke up this morning and look toward tomorrow it’s me getting locked in mentally, preparing the way I normally do and do what I’ve got to do to give us a chance to win," Porcello said. "I had a great time yesterday, but as far as today and tomorrow go it’s back to business as usual, getting focused and preparing the way I need to prepare."

"We know from the beginning these are games that we need so like Porc said yesterday was our day to kind of hang out. Today is a day to work," Betts added. "We have to prepare for tomorrow. After we can enjoy dinner and what-not with our families and when it comes to tomorrow we’ll be ready to go."

The Red Sox enter Friday 1 1/2 games out of the Wild Card with Tampa Bay and Texas currently holding the top two spots. Cleveland is one game up on the Red Sox, as well.

"It’s always fun when you’re in first place but this is where we’re at and like I told somebody the other day, there’s different ways to make it to the promised land," Cora said. "Last year was on that magic run and a historic season. This year we took another turn and another avenue, but our expectations are the same, to win the World Series again."