By: Chris Larson
Call it what you will - The Year of Alex Cora, The Dave Dombrowski Effect, The J.D. Martinez Saga, or even the Steve Pearce Glorious October - the Boston Red Sox deservedly won the World Series last night and you certainly can say that all is right in Bean Town right now. Well, maybe not exactly the Bean Town that you might be thinking about, but rather in the city of Boston.
After all, the Boston Red Sox became the first team to win four World Series Championships over the past decade and you can't overlook the fact that they had MLB's best record (108-54) either. Yes, that adds up to the most wins in franchise history and the most dominant Red Sox team to probably ever take the field. That's saying something given how strong the Red Sox were during the course of their franchise history and a true compliment to this year's squad.
Now, if you're one of those that discounts the Alex Cora Effect into the entire equation, you might want to step back and re-evaluate your opinion for a second because it's not easy managing a big league club, getting all 25 guys to buy into what you're trying to preach, and making the right managerial decisions throughout the course of the regular season.
Did Alex Cora have his own moments where he might have dropped the ball and made the wrong decision? Absolutely, all managers do at some point, but to completely remove the argument about how effective he was during his rookie year as manager and to immediately say he was handed a stacked team, is doing him and the entire Red Sox organization a disservice.
What's even more amazing on top of that factor is the idea of how underrated the Boston Red Sox were heading into the postseason and even during the course of the regular season. If you recall, before the regular season started during Spring Training this past March, many analysts and fans around the game, expected the New York Yankees to win the American League East and to do it in grand fashion. Hardly anyone that you asked, would have pegged the Boston Red Sox as being the division winner or even being crowned the World Series Champion this year.
However, as is the storyline of the Boston Red Sox entire season about never giving up and overcoming any obstacle that arises, the Boston Red Sox proved many people wrong and basically steamrolled their way to an American League East title. Furthermore, when the postseason started, many around the game expected the Houston Astros to just give the Boston Red Sox the run around and end up beating them in the ALCS. Well, low and behold, the Red Sox proved everyone wrong again and land themselves a seat in the World Series.
It wasn't an easy path to get there in the postseason either, as there were many players on the Red Sox that you could point to, as having some sort of effect in helping the team to hoist the trophy last night and the ring to come next season. To start out with, look no further than the brilliant effort that, both David Price and Nathan Eovaldi, exhibited the entire postseason. If both Price and Eovaldi hadn't stepped up the way they did, the Red Sox would probably be sitting at home right now with nothing to cheer about.
Let's start with David Price, who following the Red Sox ALCS clinching game, pitched 24 and 2/3 innings while allowing 10 hits and 3 runs. When you combine all five games that Price started this month together, he put up a 3.46 ERA along with 23 strikeouts. Mind you, it wasn't against easy offensive teams either as there was the Yankees, Astros, and Dodgers. Not only did David Price lead the Red Sox to the promise land, he changed the entire narrative and many people's opinion about how he can't pitch come the postseason, which has to be a huge burden lifted off his shoulders.
If that wasn't good enough, then take a look at what Nathan Eovaldi accomplished this month. Eovaldi, who missed the entire 2017 regular season recovering from Tommy John surgery, practically guaranteed that he would be a rich man this offseason. Eovaldi, a free agent officially now as of this morning, posted a 1.61 ERA along with a 0.81 WHIP over 22 and 1/3 innings of work, during the Red Sox quest to the championship. Incredible and proof that a pitcher might come back, even stronger than they were, prior to a Tommy John surgery.
If both of those guys didn't catch your attention enough this postseason, then look no further than Steve Pearce. Steve Pearce was probably the most under-the-radar acquisition that occurred prior to the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline on July 31st and had the biggest impact of any player traded at that time. When you get Designated for Assignment by the Baltimore Orioles in 2014 and then become a World Series MVP just four years later, you know that you obviously did something right.
In all, during the postseason, Steve Pearce hit: .289/.426/.658 over 38 at bats with 11 hits, 2 doubles, 4 home runs, 11 RBI, 9 walks, and 8 strikeouts, during this year's postseason. Quite remarkable for someone that everyone overlooked and didn't think stood a chance at being named a World Series MVP, heading into October let alone the World Series.
As with every team, the Boston Red Sox have some crucial decisions to make this offseason, most notably deciding what to do with their class of free agents which includes the aforementioned Nathan Eovaldi and Steve Pearce along with relievers Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly and infielder Ian Kinsler. However, for now the Boston Red Sox, will continue to ride the World Series wave for as long as they can and relish in knowing that the 2018 season was a magical one. Whether that be due to The Year of Alex Cora, The Dave Dombrowski Effect, The J.D. Martinez Saga, or even the Steve Pearce Glorious October is up to you to determine, but one thing is for certain: the Boston Red Sox are a winning franchise and back to their winning ways.