Whatever the reason, wherever it leads, these Red Sox aren’t just a pleasant surprise. They’re a contender.

These Red Sox aren’t just a pleasant surprise. They’re a contender.

Red Sox Kiké Hernández is delivering in every way possible for the Red Sox, including with the heads-up baserunning that delivered Sunday’s winning run. Steven Senne/Associated Press


When trying not to hyperbolize something like that, it’s best to focus on our words.

Unique, as with “literally,” is probably misused just as much as it’s correctly applied. Uniqueness is not a spectrum. It’s a checkbox. Something is unique, one of a kind, or it isn’t.

This weekend’s four Red Sox-Yankees games were not a “most unique” set in the literally 10,000-year history of this, the greatest rivalry since social media vs. nuance. They are unique, or they aren’t.

Put me in the “are” camp.

Thursday: After Christian Vázquez struck out to open the ninth inning, the microprocessors said the Red Sox had a 4 percent chance to win. They won.


Friday: Eduardo Rodriguez lasted six batters due to migraine symptoms, with Alex Cora turning to freshly recalled Phillips Valdez in the second inning against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole. Valdez mowed through three innings, Rafael Devers obliterated two home runs, and the Red Sox won again.

Saturday: When Nate Eovaldi got the second out of the eighth inning, the Sox up three, they had a 95 percent chance to really put the Yankees season on the ropes. They lost.

Sunday: When Brett Gardner walked in the eighth inning…

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Jon Couture

Jon Couture

Boston Online

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Now: @BostonGlobe, @BDCSports, @SeamansMedia. Then: @bostonherald, @southcoasttoday. Terrier. May one day start to take myself seriously, but I doubt it.