2018 Boston Red Sox
The 108 regular season wins by the 2018 Boston Red Sox set a franchise record on the way to standing atop baseball’s pinnacle. This team kicked off one of the most dominant years in Boston sports history. They were followed up by a Super Bowl championship by the Patriots and a Stanley Cup Finals loss from the Bruins all in the 2018-2019 sports calendar.
The Sox went 11-3 in the postseason only losing one game in each of the three rounds. Nobody was going to beat a team as hot as Boston was that October. There wouldn’t be a ninth World Series trophy, however, without these 10 memorable moments from the 2018 postseason.
10. Eduardo Nunez World Series Game 1 Pinch-Hit HR
During his short time in Boston, manager Alex Cora had a knack for hitting all the right buttons at all the right times; he proved this once again in game one of the World Series. In the seventh inning, Eduardo Nunez pinch-hit for Rafael Devers in a 5-4 game with two men on. Against the statistics, Cora opted for Nunez against the lefty and it paid off. Nunez hit a three-run homer over the Monster to break the game open and secure a 1-0 lead in the World Series.
9. Chris Sale World Series Game 5 Close
With a 5-1 lead in game five of the World Series heading into the ninth inning Alex Cora didn’t even have to make a call to the bullpen. Chris Sale got up to get loose without being asked and kindly inserted himself into the game in the final frame of 2018. The image of Sale walking onto the field as the rest of the bullpen cheered him on is one that will stick in Boston’s head forever. The lefty capped off the season the only way he knew how — three up, and three down.
8. Brock Holt ALDS Game 3 Cycle
The Boston Red Sox had to head into New York on the heels of a 6-2 loss in game two of the ALDS. Fans began to waver on their confidence in the team after the loss, but Brock Holt and the Sox reminded New England that there was no doubt who the better team was. Boston put up 16 runs on the Yankees in their house. They were led by Holt who is the only player in MLB history to record a cycle in the playoffs. His final hit was a home run that came off catcher Austin Romine who was put in to pitch in the ninth inning. Holt admitted that he went up to the plate trying to knock one out and he barely snuck one over the right field fence.
7. David Price World Series Game 5 Start
After giving up a home run to David Freese on his first pitch of game five it seemed that David Price hadn’t quite gotten over the playoff hump yet, but he silenced everybody from that point on. Price threw seven innings before handing the ball the Joe Kelley. He gave up just the one run on three hits and struck out five to finally get past his postseason demons and hand Boston their ninth title.
6. Steve Pearce World Series Game 4 Performance
After losing game three in an 18-inning marathon, Boston fell behind 4-0 the following afternoon. Mitch Moreland brought life to the team with a three-run homer in the seventh inning and Steve Pearce followed it up with a game-tying home run the next inning to knot the game at four. The team took a 5-4 lead and Pearce took away any doubt with two outs in the final inning. He knocked in three runs on a bases-clearing double. That put a stranglehold on the series as they took a 3-1 lead.
5. Jackie Bradley Jr. ALCS Game 2 Go-Ahead Double
Boston dropped game one of the ALCS to the Houston Astros and fell behind the following night 4-2 in the third inning. With two outs in the frame and the bases loaded Jackie Bradley Jr. delivered a go-ahead double the only way Fenway Park knows how. Fenway is known for its various nooks and crannies, and Bradley found them once again as the ball caromed off the Green Monster and found its way up on top of the left field padding and kept rolling. The double scored three and put Boston ahead 5-4.
4. Andrew Benintendi ALCS Game 4 Diving Catch
The Boston Red Sox took an 8-5 lead into the bottom of the eighth in game four in Houston; however, nothing came easy for Craig Kimbrel that October so the game very quickly found itself turned on its head. Boston’s 8-6 lead suddenly didn’t feel as safe when Kimbrel walked the bases loaded and Alex Bregman stepping to the plate. Bregman served a liner to shallow left field that was destined for multiple bases. Andrew Benintendi dove to the carpet to make sure Boston could close the series in Houston the next night, however. His game-saving catch put the Sox ahead 3-1 in the series.
3. Steve Pearce ALDS Game 4 Game-Saving Pick
After Chris Sale recorded a hold in the eighth to preserve a 4-1 lead, Craig Kimbrel entered for the ninth. With the bases loaded and one out, though, Kimbrel plunked Neil Walker to bring a run home. The next batter, Gary Sanchez nearly ended the game with a fly-ball to left. The sac-fly scored Didi Gregorius to close the gap to 4-3 with two outs. Gleyber Torres followed up with a bounding ball to Nunez at third. The grounder led Nunez out of position forcing an errant throw to Pearce at first. Nonetheless, Pearce extended as far as he could and won the series by digging the ball out of the dirt.
2. Mitch Moreland World Series Game 4 Three-Run HR
The Dodgers were threatening to tie the World Series at two games apiece in game four. Walker Buehler led them to a game three win the night before and Rich Hill tried to keep it going. Hill threw 6.1 innings only allowing one hit and striking out seven. As soon as he was pulled from the game, though, Boston made Los Angeles pay. Mitch Moreland brought the Sox back from the dead with a three-run bomb in the seventh inning. The homer closed the gap to a one-run game, and Pearce tied it up the next inning.
1. Nathan Eovaldi World Series Game 3 Relief Appearance
Nathan Eovaldi‘s game three relief appearance was both the greatest relief appearance that never was, and the greatest one that should never have happened. Eovaldi entered the game in the 12th inning in a 1-1 tie game. The next half inning, Brock Holt scored the go-ahead run to give the Sox a one-run lead. If the lead held it would have put Boston ahead 3-0 in the series — it didn’t. In the bottom half of the inning, Yasiel Puig hit a sharp grounder up the middle to Ian Kinsler. A successful throw to first would have secured a Red Sox win. Kinsler rushed the throw, however, allowing Max Muncy to score from second to tie the game.
Eovaldi had to keep going. It wasn’t until the 18th inning that Max Muncy put a ball in the left field bleachers to send everybody home. Eovaldi tossed 6+ innings in relief and struck out five. What really made this outing impressive is the fact that he had also appeared in each of the first two games as well. According to Alex Cora, Eovaldi also told the manager he would be ready to go for game four the following afternoon.
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