The Red Sox displayed a range of emotional reactions to Tuesday night's win over the Orioles. There was nervousness with a tinge of relief from David Ortiz, who explained that, if he's still a member of the Red Sox in the future, he hopes they don't have to go through this again.
"I hope, if I'm still here next year, we make it easier," he said with a smile. "It wears you out. You know what I'm saying? We're playing like it's the playoffs already. It's fun, but at the same time, you're against the ropes."
Jarrod Saltalamacchia expressed optimism, especially with Jon Lester taking the ball Wednesday night to start in game No. 162.
"Expect Lester to go out there and do what he does," Saltalamacchia said. "He's pitched well against these guys. We're gonna go out there and pitch his game."
Jonathan Papelbon was so fired up after the game, it was as if he never stepped off the field.
"In this game, man, if you ain't hustling, you getting hustled," he said. "If you ain't grinding, you ain't shining. Only the strong will survive. The weak will fall by the wayside. OK? End of story."
With that, he walked off, with game No. 161 behind him and the final page of the Red Sox turbulent regular season yet to be written.