The Final Three Outs of the 2018 World Series Taking You into the New Year.

As 2018 comes to a close, I figured it was a good time to reflect on what was one of, if not the greatest year in Boston Red Sox franchise history.

A record-setting 108 regular season wins followed by an impressive 11-3 run in the postseason en route to the club’s ninth World Series title following a 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five.

Mookie Betts was named 2018 American League MVP, the first time a Red Sox player has received that honor since Dustin Pedroia in 2008.

After waiting until February to finally sign a five-year, $110 million contract, JD Martinez went ahead and led the junior circuit in RBI (130) and total bases (358) to go along with 43 home runs in hs first season with Boston.

Jackie Bradley Jr.’s defensive prowess was finally recognized with his first ever Gold Glove Award. The 28-year-old outfielder also came through with multiple clutch at bats in the ALCS against the Houston Astros on his way to being named the series’ Most Valuable Player.

Steve Pearce was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in June to provide a platoon with Mitch Moreland at first base and hit his way to becoming the MVP of the World Series after slashing .333/.500/1.167 with three homers and eight RBI in five games.

David Price put his postseason demons behind him to the tune of a 2.59 combined ERA in the ALCS and World Series, including seven-plus innings of one run ball against the Dodgers in that faithful Game Five.

And finally, Chris Sale, after dealing with left shoulder issues for the majority of the second half of the season, came in to close things out in the ninth inning of Game Five and win his team their fourth World Series title in the last 15 years.

So, without further or due, here are the final three outs of the 2018 World Series. Enjoy and Happy New Year.

 

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Cincinnati Reds Designate Robby Scott for Assignment.

Just 11 days after claiming him off of waivers from the Boston Red Sox, the Cincinnati Reds announced on Friday that they had designated LHP Robby Scott for assignment.

This move by Cincinnati comes in correspondence to the blockbuster trade made with the Los Angeles Dodgers, as the club acquired outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, catcher Kyle Farmer, left-handed pitcher Alex Wood, and cash from LA in exchange for right-handed pitcher Homer Bailey and prospects Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray.

Needing to make room on their 40-man roster, the Reds went ahead and essentially parted ways with one of their more recent pick ups.

If left unclaimed seven days from now, Scott, 29, will more than likely either be outrighted to Cincinnati’s Triple A team or straight up released.

In his three-year tenure with the Red Sox, the left-hander posted a 3.91 ERA and 1.20 WHIP over 48.1 total frames of relief work from 2016 to 2018.

This past year though, Scott found himself in Triple A for the majority of the season, as he surrendered just 10 earned runs in 45 appearances out of the bullpen with the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Seen mostly as a lefty specialist at this point in his career, it will be interesting to see if the Florida native can catch on with another club and serve in a LOOGY (Left-handed One Out Guy) role.

Left-handed relievers always seem to be in necessity across baseball, so it would be nice to see this one time indy leaguer make his way back to a big league ‘pen.

How Much Money Will Nathan Eovaldi Make This Winter?

When the Red Sox acquired the services of Nathan Eovaldi from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 25th, it was not all that clear what they were getting.

Many expected President of Baseball Ops Dave Dombrowksi to pursue a frontline reliever, such as Zach Britton or even Brad Hand, to stabilize his club’s then shaky bullpen, but that was not the case, or was it?

Over a two-month span with Boston, Eovaldi posted a 3.33 ERA and .266 BAA in 12 games (11 starts) and exactly 54 innings pitched.

There were some ups and downs mixed in with some dominant outings, but the right-hander provided the Red Sox with a high velocity arm capable of getting big outs, and that’s what he did in the postseason.

Making his first career appearance on a playoff roster, Eovaldi went on to be a crucial piece of the puzzle for Boston, both as a starter and reliever.

In the six October contests he appeared in, the Red Sox went 5-1, with that one loss coming in that 18 inning loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Three of the World Series, a game where the Houston native tossed six-plus innings of one-run baseball on just one day of rest.

He would not appear in a game for the remainder of the series, but that effort alone appeared to have inspired the team to bounce back the way they did following that ugly loss en route to a World Series title.

Behind Steve Pearce and David Price, I would go ahead and say Eovaldi finished third in World Series MVP voting.

So now, the ex-Ray is set to hit free agency for the second time in his career. With a base salary of around $2 million this season, Eovaldi will no doubt be highly sought out after being a bargain this year.

With that in mind, I thought I would pose the following question: How much money should the Red Sox pay Nathan Eovaldi?

After the heroic month of October he had, I don’t believe I would be the first to say that the Red Sox need to do anything possible to retain his services.

Eovaldi is 28, has had two Tommy John surgeries, and has one of the more electric and durable fastballs in baseball.

Drew Pomeranz is also set to hit free agency, so ignoring the price for a second, Eovaldi would be able to fill in that spot if he were to stay.

We could be looking at a 2019 starting rotation, that, when healthy, consists of Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello. Eduardo Rodriguez, and then Eovaldi.

That is pretty good, but it would also be pretty expensive.

Last winter, the two highest contracts awarded to starting pitchers were Yu Darvish’s six-year/$126 million deal with the Chicago Cubs and Jake Arrieta’s three-year/$75 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Both of those AAV’s come out to $21+ million per season and both Darvish and Arrieta were respectively 31 and 32 when those contracts were signed.

They were also both regarded as aces when with the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs, while Eovaldi has never been given that role in his seven-year career.

So, to cut to the chase, given what he did in the postseason and specifically against the New York Yankees, I would predict the Red Sox and Eovaldi agree to a four-year deal somewhere in the $70-$75 million range.

Let’s get it done.

David Price Proved His Doubters Wrong in a Tremendous Way This October.

Entering the month of October fresh off having his best regular season in a Red Sox uniform, there was still plenty of skepticism surrounding David Price when performance matters most, in the postseason.

Up until this year, the numbers in the playoffs simply had not been there for the left-hander, as he had yet to win a postseason game he started in nine tries.

With his club owning the best record in baseball in the 2018 regular season, eyes began to turn to Price right after Chris Sale led the way for Boston in a Game One win over the New York Yankees in the ALDS.

On a cool Saturday night at Fenway Park, the Tennessee native surrendered three earned runs on two home runs in less than two innings pitched. He would eventually get hit with another loss and did not appear in the series again.

Fast forward to Game Two of the ALCS, another contest against a 100+ plus win team in the Houston Astros at Fenway, and Price made some strides towards exercising his postseason demons.

Although he was far from great (four earned runs in 4.2 innings), Price kept his team in the game and gave them a chance to win, which they would eventually do to pull even with Houston.

Four days after that, after the Red Sox had taken the first two games at Minute Maid Park, the former first round pick was presented with the opportunity to pitch his team to the World Series.

With Chris Sale unavailable to start, not only did Price nearly come in as reliever the night before, but he dominated the Astros lineup in Game Five.

Three hits, no walks, and nine strikeouts over six scoreless frames was more than enough, and it eventually earned Price his first ever winning decision as a starter in the postseason.

Watching the post game festivities, you could tel it meant a lot for the 33-year-old to finally have one truly go his way in October, and he carried that over into the Fall Classic.

Making two starts as well as one relief appearance, Price posted a 1.98 ERA and .156 BAA over 13.2 innings total pitched in his second World Series

The Red Sox came away with a 4-2 win at Fenway Park in Game Two last Wednesday, and they won for the final time this year in his last outing on Sunday.

Coming off just one full day of rest from a relief appearance in Game Three, the southpaw held Los Angeles to one run in seven-plus quality innings, as the Red Sox took care of business with a 5-1 victory to win their ninth World Series title.

When asked about overcoming his own struggles in the postseason, Price responded, “To answer that question in Spring Training day and day and day and day, and over and over and over and over, anytime it got to September, playoffs, I hold all the cards now, and that feels so good,” Price said. “That feels so good. I can’t tell you how good it feels to hold that trump card. And you guys have had it for a long time. You’ve played that card extremely well. But you don’t have it anymore, none of you do, and that feels really good.”

So, here’s to David Price. He came, he saw, and now, he’s a World Series champion. And that can never be taken away from him.

RECAP: David Price Hurls Seven-Plus Masterful Innings and Steve Pearce Homers Twice as #RedSox Clinch 2018 World Series Title.

The Boston Red Sox are once again on top of the baseball world following a 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday to clinch their fourth World Series title since 2004.

David Price got the start for this series-clinching Game Five on just one day of rest, and he was superb.

Making his third appearance of this 2018 Fall Classic, the left-hander limited the Dodgers to one lone run on three hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts over seven-plus quality innings of work.

That one run came right away in the bottom of the first, where before Price could even settle into his outing, David Freese led things off for Los Angeles by ripping a 402 home run on the very first pitch he saw.

Other than that little blip, the Dodgers threatened again in the third when JD Martinez could not locate a fly ball off the bat of Freese that resulted in a one out triple.

From that point, Price buckled down, ended the third without allowing the runner to score from third, and proceeded to retire the next 12 hitters he faced going into the eighth inning.

The Tennessee native would come back on for the eighth, but his superb night would ultimately come to an end after walking Chris Taylor on six pitches.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 89 (58 strikes) in his final start of 2018, Price, who was caught by Christian Vazquez, relied on his four-seam fastball 37% of the time he was on the mound Sunday. He also topped out at 95.3 MPH with his two-seamer in the second inning.

In relief of Price, Joe Kelly came in with a runner on and three outs to get in the eight, and he capped off his terrific October by striking out all three Dodger hitters he faced.

And finally, in a game he was originally slated to start, Chris Sale came on to close this thing out in the ninth, and he did just that by also fanning all three hitters he faced, including a four pitch strikeout of Manny Machado to seal this World Series run in historic fashion.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, whose back was against the wall in this one.

Fresh off collecting four RBI in Game Four of Saturday, Steve Pearce immediately made his presence felt in the first inning on Sunday by blasting a one out, two-run home run to give his team an early two-run advantage.

Fast forward all the way to the sixth, and Mookie Betts broke out of an 0-for-13 slump by mashing his first and only homer of this World Series on a 2-2 89 MPH slider from Kershaw. 3-1.

An inning later, JD Martinez also came through with his first big fly of this series that put the Red Sox ahead by three runs.

And in the eighth, Steve Pearce, who would later be named the MVP of this World Series, mashed his second home run of the night to all but guarantee a Game Five and series win for Boston’s team.

Some notes from this World Series-clinching win:

From @MLBStatoftheDay: Steve Pearce joins Babe Ruth and Ted Kluszewski as the only players 35 or older to have a multi-homer World Series game.

The Boston Red Sox have won four World Series titles in the last 15 years.

Alex Cora is the first Puerto Rican manager to win a World Series.

From @SoxNotes: David Price’s last 3 starts:
ALCS Game 5 at HOU – 6.0 IP, 0 R, 3-for-21
WS Game 2 vs. LAD – 6.0 IP, 2 R, 3-for-20
WS Game 5 at LAD – 7.0 IP, 1 R, 3-for-23
Totals: 1.42 ERA, .141 opponent AVG

From @BusterOlney: ELIAS: If the Red Sox win, David Price will have clinched two consecutive series against Cy Young winners – Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw – in the same postseason. That’s never been done before.

What a year, and what a way to cap it off.

The 2018 Boston Red Sox are one of the greatest baseball teams of all time. There is no doubt about that.

World. Series. Champions.

Steve Pearce is your MVP of the series.

RECAP: #RedSox Bounce Back and Score Nine Unanswered Runs en Route to Game Four Win over Dodgers, Stand One Victory Away from World Series Title.

After losing in demoralizing fashion in Game Three of the World Series on Friday night, the Red Sox bounced back less than 24 hours later with a pivotal, come from behind win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in nine innings on Saturday.

Learning he was going to start in this game hours before first pitch, Eduardo Rodriguez, who had already appeared in this series as a reliever, Eduardo Rodriguez put together a solid performance in this one up until the sixth.

Pitching into the sixth inning, the left-hander surrendered four earned runs on four hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts on the night.

Retiring 15 of the first 18 hitters he faced, things were looking great for Rodriguez until he plunked David Freese to lead off the bottom half of the sixth.

With his pitch count steadily rising, it seemed as though the Venezuela native’s evening was about to come to a close, but even after giving up a one out double to Justin Turner, intentionally putting Manny Machado on to load the bases, he remained in the game.

The sixth inning could have come to a close with Cody Bellinger grounding into a potential 3-2-3 double play, but instead, Christian Vazquez made a poor throw back to first, and Turner came into score as a result. 1-0 Los Angeles.

Just a few moments after that transpired, with runners on the corners, Rodriguez still remained in the game to face the right-handed Yasiel Puig, who made the most of the opportunity by blasting a 439 foot three-run home run much to Rodriguez’s disdain.

That would put the Dodgers up 4-0 and also put an end to Rodriguez’s night. It will be lost in the numbers, but given the circumstances, the 25-year-old gave the Red Sox what they needed.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 93 (59 strikes), the former international free agent, who was caught by Christian Vazquez, relied on his four-seam fastball 45% of the time on Saturday and topped out at 96.5 MPH with the same pitch in the first inning. If this series were head back to Boston, that is when I would expect to see Rodriguez out of the bullpen again.

I would have more to say about Alex Cora’s decision to stick with Rodriguez in the sixth, but given how things worked out later on, I’ll give him a pass for now.

Anyway, in relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen was not stretched thin in this one, as they were only responsible for the final 3.1 innings to close this thing out.

Matt Barnes entered with the bases empty in the sixth, and he worked his way around a two out walk to end the inning with a strikeout of Austin Barnes.

Joe Kelly was next up for the fourth time in the last five days, and he shined while scattering three hits and three strikeouts over two scoreless frames of work to eventually pick up the winning decision.

Finally, Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth with a fresh five-run lead to work with, and he trimmed that down to two on the way to securing the Game Four victory for his club.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill, who they were seeing for the first time in this series.

A native of Milton, Massachusetts, Hill, like Game Three starter Walker Buehler, had his way with the Boston bats early on.

No one could really couldn’t get anything going up until the seventh inning, when Chris Sale decided to light a fire under their bellies in the visitors dugout.

Coincidence or not, the bats got rolling after that, and it all started with a leadoff walk drawn by Xander Bogaerts.

Four batters and two separate pitching changes later, Mitch Moreland came on for his first at bat of the night pinch-hitting for Matt Barnes.

With Ryan Madson, a pitcher Boston had success against at Fenway Park, on the mound for Los Angeles, Moreland did not waste any time screwing around, and promptly mashed a three-run home run on the first pitch he saw.

4-3 Dodgers on that 437 foot blast from Moreland.

An inning later, another Red Sox first baseman struck for a home run, as Steve Pearce took one deep off of Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to knot this game up at four runs a piece.

In the ninth, looking for some insurance, Brock Holt ended up being the catalyst of a five-run inning by ripping a one out double off of Dodgers reliever Dylan Floro.

Hitting in Sandy Leon’s spot in the order, Rafael Devers came up to bat next, and as he has done so much this October, delivered with yet another clutch RBI on a single to center field that allowed Holt to score from second and put his team up 5-4.

They would not stop there, though.

Nope, Steve Pearce got another chance with the bases loaded, two outs, and Kenta Maeda on the mound for Los Angeles, and he came through yet again with a bases-clearing three RBI double to all but put this contest out of reach.

In case it was not enough, Xander Bogaerts was responsible for the final RBI of the night on an RBI single that plated Pearce from second and made it a 9-4 game, which is all the Red Sox would need to pick up their first win of the year at Dodger Stadium.

Some notes from this 9-6 victory:

From @SoxNotes: The 2018 Red Sox are the 3rd team ever to hit multiple pinch-hit home runs in a single World Series, joining the 1975 Red Sox and 1959 Dodgers.

From @MLBStatoftheDay: The Red Sox have scored 17 of their 23 runs in this World Series with two outs.

From @MLBStatoftheDay: Steve Pearce is the third Red Sox player ever to homer and drive in four runs in a single World Series game (Yastrzemski, 1967; Ortiz, 2004).

In 10 postseason games this year, Rafael Devers has collected nine RBI.

A quote from Devers about Chris Sale’s in-game speech:

With the opportunity to clinch their fourth World Series title Sunday, it will be David Price, not Chris Sale, getting the start for Boston in Game Five.

Alex Cora made that announcement following his post game press conference.

In two career starts at Dodger Stadium, Price is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA over 12 innings pitched. The Red Sox have won the last three postseason games the left-hander has started in.

Opposite Price will be another left-hander in the form of Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who served up five earned runs on seven hits in four-plus innings pitched in his Game One start back on October 23rd.

Do they end it tonight or does this series head back to Boston? First pitch of Game Five of the 2018 World Series is scheduled for 8:09 PM ET on FOX.

 

Nathan Eovaldi Is a Psychopath.

After throwing 97 pitches in relief of Friday night’s 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is apparently ready to head back out the mound in Game Four of the World Series Saturday.

Despite being hit with the losing decision, Eovaldi was certainly not to blame for what went down yesterday, as he put up six-plus innings of quality relief work on just one day’s rest.

This postseason, the former Dodgers prospect has posted a 1.61 ERA and .185 BAA over six outings (two starts) and 22.1 innings pitched in the first October action of his career.

Because of these efforts, not only has Eovaldi become a bit of a hero in Boston, he’s also upped his value big time as he heads into free agency this winter.

If this World Series ends with the Red Sox coming out on top, I would have to guess Eovaldi is the frontrunner for series MVP. We’ll have to wait and see on that.