On paper, two of baseball’s best starters were set to square off in Game 1 of the World Series. That duel lasted about four innings. What ensued was a back-and-forth offensive battle before Eduardo Nunez blasted a pinch-hit, three-run home run in the seventh inning.
Nunez launched the Alex Wood offering over the Green Monster with two outs, capping the scoring for the night. As the ball sailed into a sea of the screaming Boston faithful, a trend became apparent. The Boston Red Sox can do some serious damage with two outs.
Boston Red Sox Ride Clutch Hiting to World Series Game 1 Win
Red Sox Two Out RBI Triumphs
In the regular season, 43 MLB players drove in at least 32 runs with two outs. Five of them were Red Sox. JD Martinez (46), Xander Bogaerts (38), Mookie Betts (35), Jackie Bradley Jr. (33), and Andrew Benintendi (32) are among the most dangerous when hitting with two outs. Bradley added nine more two out RBIs in the ALCS.
The Red Sox have been doing this all year, and it continued against the Dodgers in Game 1. Five of their eight runs scored came with two outs. Two out RBIs are deadly. When a pitcher thinks he is a pitch away from escaping damage, batters coming through in the clutch put a dagger in their momentum. This proved true with the timing of Boston’s two out RBIs during the game.
Game 1 Success
After the Los Angeles Dodgers clawed back to tie the game at two, Martinez launched a ball towards center field. This shot sent Fenway Park into a frenzy and gave the Red Sox their lead back.
Two innings later, the Dodgers, again, tied the game, only to give the lead back when Rafael Devers came through. Two more innings later, Wood entered the game, only to surrender the home run to Nunez, sealing the deal on the win.
Each two-out RBI came in a half inning following the Dodgers scoring, thwarting the Dodger hopes of a shutdown inning. Each run excited the crowd to new levels of joy and fueled the momentum toward the side of Boston.
Dodgers Two Out RBI Woes
Scoring with two outs was exactly what the Dodgers did not do. This resulted in them never truly having momentum in the game.
Manny Machado drove in three runs, two of which came via a sacrifice fly and groundout. These two RBIs left the Dodgers with two outs and runners in scoring position, but Los Angeles failed to capitalize on these opportunities. Had the Dodgers been able to pull through in those situations, the game could have turned out very differently.
The Dodgers left three runners on in those particular two-out scenarios. Those three runs could have led Dave Roberts not to bring in Wood. Maybe a closer game puts more pressure on a recently struggling Craig Kimbrel who retired the side with ease, thanks to the four-run cushion.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but Game 1 went to the team that came through with clutch hitting. While pitching wins championships, situational hitting will continue to be the big trend for this series.
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