Mookie Betts Is Named 2018 American League MVP.

For the first time in his career, Mookie Betts is an MVP, as announced by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Thursday evening.

He finished second in voting in 2016, sixth in voting in 2017, but now, the 26-year-old can finally add a Most Valuable Player trophy to his impressive collection.

Coming into the 2018 season as one of the more established outfielders in all of baseball alongside Angels center fielder Mike Trout, the three-time All-Star got his MVP campaign off to a scorching start that he would not have to look back from.

Ending his fourth full year in the bigs with a gaudy .346/.438/.640 slash line to go along with a career-high 32 home runs, 80 RBI and a league-leading 129 runs scored over 136 games, Betts officially received 28 of the 30 first place votes.

Already the recipient of his second Silver Slugger and third Gold Glove Award earlier in the month, the Tennessee native has had himself quite the offseason.

A World Series champion for the first time…

A father for the first time…

And now, an MVP for the first time…

So, congratulations to Mookie Betts, someone who worked his way from a fifth round pick out of high school in the 2011 amateur draft all the way to one of the best all-around players in the American League. Perhaps a hefty contract extension is in order sometime in the coming months?

Betts’ teammate, JD Martinez, who was not listed as one of the three finalists on the American League ballot, officially finished fourth in AL MVP voting.

 

 

Advertisements

Mookie Betts and JD Martinez Collect Three Silver Slugger Awards as Award Season Rolls on for #RedSox.

On Thursday, Major League Baseball continued its award circuit by announcing the 18 recipients of the 2018 Silver Slugger Award presented by Louisville Slugger.

Voted on by managers and coaches throughout baseball, the Red Sox led the way for the American League with three winners, although there is a catch to that.

Mookie Betts and JD Martinez finished with the first and second best batting average in the AL over the course of the 2018 regular season, and that paid off with three total Silver Sluggers being awarded to them on Thursday evening.

For Betts, this is the second time he has received the honor in his career, with the first one coming in 2016.

Among qualified American League outfielders, the 26-year-old finished fifth in home runs (32), first in AVG (.346), first in SLG (.640), first in runs scored (129), and second in wRC+ (185), per FanGraphs.

Along with Betts, fellow Red Sox teammate JD Martinez made some history on Thursday by becoming the first player ever to win multiple Silver Sluggers at different positions in the same season.

Claiming awards at both DH and in the outfield, Martinez finished his first year in Boston as one of the most dangerous bats in the American League, yet was not named an MVP finalist.

In 93 games at DH, the Florida native posted a .297/.373/.597 slash line to go along with 27 home runs and 79 RBI.

As an outfielder, Martinez was surprisingly better at the plate, as he hit his way to a 1.130 OPS as well as 16 homers and 51 RBI over 57 games played.

Also the recipient of the Hank Aaron Award for his offensive production in 2018, this is the second time Martinez has been awarded a Silver Slugger Award, with the first coming in 2015 when he was a member of the Detroit Tigers.

Next up in the award season circuit, Alex Cora, fresh off a World Series title and all, will look to become the third American League Manager of the Year to represent the Red Sox since the awards inception in 1983.

The winner for that is set to be announced on Tuesday, November 13th.

Mookie Betts Named Wilson Defensive Player of the Year for Right Fielders.

Just three days after receiving his second straight Gold Glove Award on Sunday night, Mookie Betts’ defense was in the spotlight once again, as he was named Wilson Defensive Player of the Year for his work in right field this season.

Among qualified American League right fielders, the 26-year-old finshed first in multiple defensive categories, such as Defensive Runs Saved (20), Ultimate Zone Rating (15.3), and Defense (10.1), per FanGraphs.

This is the first time Betts has received this particular award since he was named the overall defensive player of the year in 2016, a season in which he finished second in American League Most Valuable Player voting.

This year, the Tennessee native seems poised to change his luck after having his best regular season in terms of Wins Above Replacement (10.9) and being named a finalist in the MVP race on Monday.

Before that though, Betts will have to settle for his second career Silver Slugger Award, which he is set to win on Thursday after leading all of baseball in hitting in 2018 (.346 batting average).

Alex Cora Named Manager of the Year Finalist, Mookie Betts Named American League MVP Finalist.

One night after Ian Kinsler, Mookie Betts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. won Rawlings Gold Glove Awards for their defensive prowess at their respective positions, the Red Sox were back it again on Monday in the thick of award season.

This time, two of the best at what they do were named finalists for some decently important awards.

First, first-year manager Alex Cora, fresh off leading his team to their ninth World Series title just over a week ago, was named one of the four finalists for Manager of the Year.

In a field that also consists of Athletics manager Bob Melvin, Rockies manager Bud Black, and Brewers manager Craig Counsell, Cora sticks out as the only rookie manager on this impressive lost of baseball minds.

Taking over a team that had won back-to-back American League East titles for the first time in its franchise’s history, the native of Puerto Rico went ahead and set the club’s all-time record in regular season wins (108).

Cora’s Red Sox didn’t bat an eye in October either, as they went a stunning 11-3 run to clinch another World Series title, making their mark as one of the more dominant baseball teams ever assembled.

On the player side of the award announcements, neither Chris Sale nor JD Martinez were named finalists in AL Cy Young and AL MVP consideration, but as was expected by many, Mookie Betts was named as one of the three finalists in the junior circuit for the second time in three seasons.

In his age 25 season, the three-time All-Star led the American League in batting average (.346), slugging percentage (.640), and runs scored (129), as well as setting a new career high in home runs with 32 of them in 2018.

Along with Betts, Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout and Cleveland Indians infielder Jose Ramirez were named as MVP finalists.

I was a tad bit flustered that JD Martinez was not named given how much he meant to the Red Sox this season, but all will be forgiven if Betts claims his first ever MVP crown on November 11th.

Next up in the award season circuit is the Silver Slugger Award, whose winners are set to be announced on November 8th.

Three #RedSox Capture Gold Glove Awards, Including Jackie Bradley Jr.’s First.

On Sunday night, Major League Baseball announced its 2018 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners for both leagues on ESPN, and the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox came away with three award winners.

Tied with the Atlanta Braves for the most recipients, Ian Kinsler, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts took home the honor for the American League at second base, center field, and right field, respectively.

For Kinsler, this is the second time he has been awarded with a Gold Glove in his 13-year career.

According to FanGraphs, the 36-year-old, who played in 37 games with Boston this season, led all American League second baseman in Ultimate Zone Rating (9.7).

For Jackie Bradley Jr., this is the first time he has been named a Gold Glove winner, and it finally solidifies the 28-year-old as one of, if not the best defensive center fielder in the American League. Here are some highlights from this season to drive that point home:

And finally, to no one’s surprise, Mookie Betts took home his third consecutive Gold Glove Award patrolling right field. He, like Kinsler, led all American League right fielders in UZR by a wide margin (15.3).

Betts will be looking to add to his impressive award collection in the coming days, as Silver Slugger Award winners will be announced on November 8th. JD Martinez should be in that conversation as well.

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.