By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) -- The Red Sox' grand slam barrage continued Monday night, with Boston clubbing yet another salami against the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the ALCS. Kyle Schwarber's grand slam in the second inning was Boston's third of the series, a grand follow-up to the two that the Red Sox crushed in Game 2 in Houston.
A team mashing three grand slams in the same playoff series had never happened before. Nor had a team hitting two grand slams in the same playoff game, as Boston did Saturday in Game 2. The Red Sox just love hitting history-making grand slams.
If any team was going to make this kind of history in the ALCS, we should have known it would be the Red Sox. Boston bats have hit more grand slams with the AL pennant on the line than any other team in MLB history. A lot more.
The Red Sox really have a knack for loading the bases in the ALCS and then clearing them with one swing of the bat. Tucker Boynton put that in perspective shortly after Schwarber's blast in Game 3:
That's a lot of salami for Boston.
As for the five non-Red Sox ALCS grand slams, they came off the bats of Baltimore's Mike Cuellar (1970), California's Don Baylor (1982), Cleveland's Jim Thome (1998), New Yor's Ricky Ledee (1999) and Texas' Nelson Cruz (2011). So the other teams that have grand slams in the ALCS only have one.
Grand slams are the most memorable swings in baseball, so you probably don't need a history lesson of Boston's eight over the last 15 years. But who doesn't love to look back on grand slams? No one. That's who. (Well, maybe not fans of the Yankees, Indians, Tigers and Astros.)
Johnny Damon's slam in 2004 was pretty grand because it came against the Yankees in Game 7 of Boston's incredible 3-0 series comeback. With Boston already up 2-0 in the top of the second, Damon cleared the bases by taking Javier Vazquez deep to right field. At least, deep by Yankee Stadium standards. The big swing put Boston on top 6-0 en route to a 10-3 victory and an epic series win.
J.D. Drew is up next in the ALCS history books, with his slam coming in Game 6 of the 2007 ALCS against the Cleveland Indians. With Boston trailing the series 3-2, Drew blasted a first-inning slam to give the Red Sox an early lead on the way to a 12-2 victory. Drew was not what you would call a fan favorite in Boston, but he won over Red Sox fans with that one swing.
Riding the momentum from Game 6, Boston won 11-2 in Game 7 to take the series. They went on to sweep the Colorado Rockies in the World Series.
Then the Red Sox hit a pair of grand slams in the 2013 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers, with their first coming off the bat of David Ortiz in Game 2. Boston was trailing 5-1 in the eighth inning when Ortiz cleared the bases against Joaquin Benoit. Big Papi tied the game with that one swing, sending Fenway Park into delirium and Torii Hunter over the bullpen wall.
Shane Victorino joined the grand slam club in Boston's Game 6 clincher a few nights later, quickly turning a 2-1 deficit in the eighth inning into a 5-2 lead. Victorino was in a 2-for-23 slump at the time of the blast.
Jackie Bradley Jr. was not a home run hitter by any stretch, but he had a monster swing for the Red Sox in the 2018 ALCS against the Houston Astros, The outfielder broke open Boston's Game 3 win in Houston with an eighth-inning grand slam, part of an 8-2 Red Sox win. Boston won the series in five games, and then beat the L.A. Dodgers in the Fall Classic.
All five of those grand slams were pretty sweet, and now they're joined in the history books by blasts from Martinez, Devers and Schwarber in 2021.
The most impressive part is that all of those previous slams came in Red Sox World Series runs. Now we'll wait to see if Boston's trio of slams this postseason end up being part of yet another Red Sox march to a title.
for more features.