Jackie Bradley Jr.‘s heroics in the ALCS helped propel the Boston Red Sox to their first World Series since 2013, where they won their eighth world championship title. The Red Sox sealed an emphatic 4-1 series win over the reigning champion Houston Astros on Thursday night, celebrating another victory on enemy soil, and winning another pennant for the city of Boston.
Jackie Bradley Jr. Shines
Boston’s athletic center fielder was able to pull off one of the greatest series performances in recent memory, as he helped the Red Sox reach the 2018 World Series, picking up the ALCS MVP award, in the process. Bradley Jr, who has been Gold Glove Award-worthy all season long, and showed his worth from an offensive side throughout this series.
Bradley Jr. was able to bolster the bottom of the Boston batting order, which has struggled at times throughout the season. His heroics included a three-run double on a fly ball to left field, which troubled Marwin Gonzalez. This turned the score from 2-4 to 5-4 in the Red Sox’s favor, with one swing of the bat. It changed the momentum of the game, and perhaps, the series. The Red Sox went on to win Game two, evening up the series at one apiece. The following game, now in Houston, saw another match-winning performance from the Boston hero. With the Red Sox 4-2 up in the eighth inning, Bradley clinched Game 3 in outstanding fashion. He hit a grand slam to right center field off of Astros closing pitcher Roberto Osuna. Back to back game-winning hits from Bradley saw the Red Sox take a 2-1 series lead. From then on they never looked back.
The Surprising Hero
Jackie Bradley Jr. is an outstanding baseball player, all Red Sox fans know this. But, he has been underrated in the past. Perhaps, the best defensive player in baseball, Bradley still hasn’t received a Gold Glove Award, due to other players’ success. His attention to fielding detail and his magnificent catches hauled in, over his time with the Red Sox, however, have still played a huge role for the team’s success. This season, more than ever before, Bradley has been vital to the Red Sox’s success.
Although Bradley, is not known as much for his offensive side of the game, he showed in the regular season that his ability was there, building his average up to .234 after a bad start, from a batting standpoint to the season. His 59 RBI helped the Sox on their way to a record-setting 108 win season. A regular season which resulted in another AL East division title.
Red Sox fans knew of his magical glove and many knew he could be a presence with the bat. However, many critics didn’t think he was an asset, offensively. Bradley proved these people wrong, this postseason. With a solid regular season, a likely first time Gold Glove Award and the ALCS MVP, Bradley has had a great year in Boston. Alex Cora will have a conundrum as Boston will need to play by National League rules in Games 3, 4 and (if needed) 5. A rule which will leave Cora debating how to manage his incredible outfield of Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez, and Bradley Jr. Boston has talent which will perform whatever team Cora chooses. But, it will be interesting to see how this is managed.
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