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Betts: Red Sox must carry sense of urgency into postseason

Rob Bradford
September 14, 2018 - 7:40 pm

After getting walloped by the Astros in the first two games of last season's American League Division Series the Red Sox decided enough was enough. It was team meeting time.

The Red Sox finally looked in the mirror and didn't like what they were seeing.

"It does suck to go through a whole season essentially and then it was almost like one of those last-resort type of things. Why didn't this come to anyone's attention if we all thought it and why didn't we bring this up before the All-Star break?" Joe Kelly said back in January on the Bradfo Sho podcast. "It might have been a little different. We still won all the games but it just didn't feel right."

"I think we had a moment after Game 2," added Rick Porcello on the podcast. "I think we kind of all … Everyone settled into their role, I guess. There was something that happened after the second game where as a group we weren't passive in Game 3 and Game 4 and we played our best baseball, and we played hard. We came up a little bit short. But all the clubhouse atmosphere and all the culture and the things that you try and create over the course of the year is so you can go into a playoff game and play like that." (For more on the meeting, click here.)

It was too little, too late.

But what the moment did was make those players left behind not make the same mistake again. That was something made very clear by Mookie Betts when talking to prior to Friday night's game.

"Obviously, it’s going to be a different feeling. We have different guys. That may bring a different feel. I just think we have to be in that situation to kind of know. I know one thing. We have to have a sense of urgency from the get-go," Betts said, adding. "It’s happened the last two years. It can’t happen again."

Betts and Co. thought they had learned valuable lessons from getting swept in the 2016 American League Division Series at the hands of the Indians. But as the outfielder pointed out, the results -- and even the overall vibe -- was eerily similar.

It hasn't quite gotten to the point where Betts is zeroing in on all things postseason. ("We know it's coming," he said.) But we now know what the priority will be when the time comes, and that just may involve another team meeting, just in case.

"I’m not sure we have to say it," said Betts of the emphasis on urgency, "but I’m sure it will be said at some point."