The Red Sox performed admirably during an unusual season and competed throughout the summer of 1972 but the team suffered heartbreak again during their regular season-ending series against Detroit.
Record: 85-70, 2nd in American League East
Manager: Edward M. Kasko
The 1972 season began late due to a player's strike (the first work stoppage in baseball history), which pushed Opening Day to April 15. Instead of implementing a revised 162-game schedule, the teams agreed that they would play from the April 15 onward, regardless of any imbalance created.
Some new faces arrived in Boston in 1971, including Tommy Harper, Lew Krausse, Marty Pattin and Pat Skrable, who had all been acquired from Milwaukee in exchange for Ken Brett, Billy Conigliaro, Jim Lonborg, George Scott and two others. Rookie catcher and New Hampshire native Carlton Fisk led the team with 22 home runs and earned unanimous AL Rookie of the Year honors. Luis Tiant won the Comeback Player of the Year award with a 15-6 record and league-best 1.91 ERA.
Tiant twirled six shutouts between August 19 and September 16 as the Red Sox took possession of first place on September 7 and held it for most of the month. Boston's final three games of the regular season came against the Tigers, who were only a half game behind the Red Sox entering the series. With no possibility of a tie (due to the imbalanced schedule), the meeting was essentially a best-of-three playoff. In the first game, a base running error, which led both Luis Aparicio and Carl Yastrzemski to wind up on third base, stunted a possible rally. The Red Sox lost the game and then lost the next day, giving the Tigers the pennant.