Best 2018 Red Sox postseason moments

Noseminer

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David Price. This man has been booed off the field so many times. He was so frustrated because he knew he wasn't washed up and he could be not only a contributor, but a huge part of this rotation. His emotions ranging from sprinting out of the dugout after the final out, to crying into his championship shirt, to crying at the press conference when asked how important it was to him to be a good team mate. He mentioned how much ridicule he had to endure, and he is so glad to finally and emphatically say "Eff you all who booed and doubted me." Anybody who even thinks of booing this man ever again, Give your ticket to someone who appreciates him, and stay the fuck home. We don't need you. We don't want you. David Price. I have no issue with Pearce winning MVP, but I thought he and Price should have been co-MVPs at the very least. David Price. He should never have to pay for a drink in this town, ever. No matter how good or bad he is from this point out. One last time. DAVID FUCKING PRICE.
 

chawson

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Wow, I’d forgotten Nunez’s play to end the ALDS. There’s just so many.
 

Kliq

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So many great moments; a personal favorite of mine is the 102 mph heater with movement to blow away Bregman in Game 5. That was one of the most savage pitches I’ve ever seen.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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People have all the great stuff covered. What has struck me over the past week or so is how much this team seems to genuinely love playing baseball with and for each other. There's an authenticity and joy to their play and reactions, and while it sounds sappy, it's thrilling as a fan to be a part of it. I think Cora has a ton to do with it, as the guys to a man seem to revere him. Their joy is our joy, times 100.
There was a quote from Nunez after game 1 where he was asked about being the hero and his basic response was that he didn’t care so long as there was a hero from his team because it would mean they won.
 

8slim

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Sale getting a hero's send off in the Boston bullpen from his teammates. I don't think I have ever seen anything like that. If anyone could post that I would appreciate it. I would like to watch in a loop about a hundred times.
That was such an amazing moment, and one of so many that revealed just how remarkably close this team has become.

On that note, watching the frenzied on-field celebration after Sale struck our Machado, it was heartwarming to see such joy from a tight-knit team made up of people from so many varied backgrounds.

Given the times we live in, that is no small thing.
 

drbretto

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Best individual moment - Benny's catch to end the ALCS. That was the single most pivotal play in the whole postseason. If he misses and the ball gets behind him, that could have lost the Sox that game and given the Astros every reason to believe they could turn things around. Instead, he sends a message to the rest of baseball that we're going to rise to any challenge and win.

Best story in the playoffs is Price. This was really special for him. He got a huge monkey off his back and turned into a dominant postseason assassin. I feel really, really happy for Price. He's an emotional guy. He hears the crap people are talking about him, and it is crap. He's not been nearly as bad in the post season as they writers want to make it out to be. It was a false narrative to begin with, and he proved them all wrong.

So many runner up moments, but you all got 'em covered.
 

drbretto

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Oh, and CORA. Not any given moment. Cora at every single given moment. Very few of his moves didn't work out and those that didn't were at least defensible.

First time manager. First time! At any level! He was a bench coach ONE YEAR and that was it. I've never heard a team talk about their manager like the Sox do. Never. Not even Belichick. And he's out there re-writing baseball norms with his use of the pitching staff. He's not the first one to use a starter as a reliever when they would be doing a side session, but he might be the first one that did it as a rule all postseason long. Doing so essentially created an entire lights-out bullpen ace from NOTHING. Every team will do this from now on. And if they don't, they should.

Not bad, Rookie.
 

The Napkin

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But there is another one that I’ve been making sure to remember, as it’s likley to be forgotten - Vaz’s 5th inning AB in Game 2.
Trailing 2-1 with Ryu seemingly unhittable it was Vaz of all people to have a great AB and come up with the single extending the inning...leading to the 4-2 lead by the end of the inning and control of the series.
admission time:
When he singled I was actually a little bummed because I thought we'd be better off coming up with the top of the order to start off the next inning. Did not take me too long to eat crow.
 

TFisNEXT

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Best individual moment - Benny's catch to end the ALCS. That was the single most pivotal play in the whole postseason. If he misses and the ball gets behind him, that could have lost the Sox that game and given the Astros every reason to believe they could turn things around. Instead, he sends a message to the rest of baseball that we're going to rise to any challenge and win.
.
Need to point out here that Benny's catch was game 4, so it didn't end the ALCS.

Regardless, it was still a massive turning point. The difference between 3-1 and 2-2.
 

drbretto

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Need to point out here that Benny's catch was game 4, so it didn't end the ALCS.

Regardless, it was still a massive turning point. The difference between 3-1 and 2-2.
Duh, good point! Though, I maintain that it still emotionally ended the series for the 'Stros. Does that count? :)
 

singaporesoxfan

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For a post season that the Sox romped through without facing a single elimination game, there sure were a lot of great close baseball games - I think a neutral fan would consider ALCS game 4, and World Series games 3 and 4 all great
 

timlinin8th

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Oh, and CORA. Not any given moment. Cora at every single given moment. Very few of his moves didn't work out and those that didn't were at least defensible.

First time manager. First time! At any level! He was a bench coach ONE YEAR and that was it. I've never heard a team talk about their manager like the Sox do. Never. Not even Belichick. And he's out there re-writing baseball norms with his use of the pitching staff. He's not the first one to use a starter as a reliever when they would be doing a side session, but he might be the first one that did it as a rule all postseason long. Doing so essentially created an entire lights-out bullpen ace from NOTHING. Every team will do this from now on. And if they don't, they should.

Not bad, Rookie.
Probably the biggest thing about Cora is something he addressed it in a lot of postgame interviews concerning the offense. When we think of Moneyball we think of finding that which is undervalued on the market, not as much with baseball strategies, but starting from day one in Spring Training, he recognized that which is undervalued in today’s shift-heavy, three true outcomes game - that speed on the basepaths, steals, hit and runs, etc can get these shifted pieces moving and get them all screwed up because they are playing “out of position”. That a guy coming into a new position can recognize something like that and begun to implement it immediately and get buy in from the entire team is special.
 

drbretto

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Probably the biggest thing about Cora is something he addressed it in a lot of postgame interviews concerning the offense. When we think of Moneyball we think of finding that which is undervalued on the market. Starting from day one in Spring Training, he recognized that which is undervalued in today’s shift-heavy, three true outcomes game - that speed on the basepaths, steals, hit and runs, etc can get these shifted pieces moving and get them all screwed up because they are playing “out of position”. That a guy coming into a new position can recognize something like that and begun to implement it immediately and get buy in from the entire team is special.
Yes! I noticed this as well.

People seem to think that Moneyball was all about us usage of stats. That's a red herring. It's all about finding the advantage no one else has yet. Once stats crept up through the rest of baseball, it's no longer an advantage. Everyone's got the same spreadsheets. You're just part of the herd. So, the advantage goes to the team that can take it a step further. The teams leading the charge on that have the perpetual advantage while everyone else just tries to keep up. What Cora has shown here is that we're going to be leading the charge once again.
 

Zososoxfan

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Probably the biggest thing about Cora is something he addressed it in a lot of postgame interviews concerning the offense. When we think of Moneyball we think of finding that which is undervalued on the market, not as much with baseball strategies, but starting from day one in Spring Training, he recognized that which is undervalued in today’s shift-heavy, three true outcomes game - that speed on the basepaths, steals, hit and runs, etc can get these shifted pieces moving and get them all screwed up because they are playing “out of position”. That a guy coming into a new position can recognize something like that and begun to implement it immediately and get buy in from the entire team is special.
Super insightful and something I hadn't thought of. Thanks.
 

normstalls

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- Eovaldi blowing away Bregman on 102mph in the 8th inning of game 5 with a 4-1 lead. You felt that Houston was sensing it was over at this point.
'Post that' - David Price

edit - clearly late on this, catching up and struggling.
 

bosockboy

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So many great moments; a personal favorite of mine is the 102 mph heater with movement to blow away Bregman in Game 5. That was one of the most savage pitches I’ve ever seen.
After Bregman trolled him on Instagram. Definitely part of that 102 mph.
 

BroodsSexton

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Probably the biggest thing about Cora is something he addressed it in a lot of postgame interviews concerning the offense. When we think of Moneyball we think of finding that which is undervalued on the market, not as much with baseball strategies, but starting from day one in Spring Training, he recognized that which is undervalued in today’s shift-heavy, three true outcomes game - that speed on the basepaths, steals, hit and runs, etc can get these shifted pieces moving and get them all screwed up because they are playing “out of position”. That a guy coming into a new position can recognize something like that and begun to implement it immediately and get buy in from the entire team is special.
Can you elaborate on this a little bit? What do you mean that speed, hit-and-runs, etc. "get these shifted pieces moving and get them all screwed up because they are playing 'out of position'"?
 

DrewDawg

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Can you elaborate on this a little bit? What do you mean that speed, hit-and-runs, etc. "get these shifted pieces moving and get them all screwed up because they are playing 'out of position'"?
If you have a 3B shifted over playing, essentially SS, then steal a base and make him take a throw he's not used to.
 

Remagellan

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David Price. This man has been booed off the field so many times. He was so frustrated because he knew he wasn't washed up and he could be not only a contributor, but a huge part of this rotation. His emotions ranging from sprinting out of the dugout after the final out, to crying into his championship shirt, to crying at the press conference when asked how important it was to him to be a good team mate. He mentioned how much ridicule he had to endure, and he is so glad to finally and emphatically say "Eff you all who booed and doubted me." Anybody who even thinks of booing this man ever again, Give your ticket to someone who appreciates him, and stay the fuck home. We don't need you. We don't want you. David Price. I have no issue with Pearce winning MVP, but I thought he and Price should have been co-MVPs at the very least. David Price. He should never have to pay for a drink in this town, ever. No matter how good or bad he is from this point out. One last time. DAVID FUCKING PRICE.
Well-stated. That was my take as well. They should have been co-MVPs. I’m so happy he finally had his great moments in the postseason for reasons that go beyond what they meant to the team’s success.
 

timlinin8th

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Can you elaborate on this a little bit? What do you mean that speed, hit-and-runs, etc. "get these shifted pieces moving and get them all screwed up because they are playing 'out of position'"?
I’d have to re-listen to the Cora quotes to really do it justice, it was on MLB Network, but going off memory and with a lot of paraphrasing he came out and said that hit-and-runs are the next market inefficiency. What DrewDawg just said about 3B having to play over to second, but also if you have a SS/3B playing in shallow RF, the 2B is likely to be playing closer to the 2B bag, so by getting the runner on first moving on the pitch the 2B is going to move to his right to cover and suddenly you have a lot of open space in the IF. Plenty of other scenarios I can’t think of off the top of my head.
 

BroodsSexton

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If you have a 3B shifted over playing, essentially SS, then steal a base and make him take a throw he's not used to.
Ahh, I see. But in a "three-true-outcome" game, how does this affect anything (other than increasing your SBs, I guess?) Or is the idea that you forego the three-true-outcome game and focus on putting the ball in play, in conjunction with taking extra bases, being aggressive, etc.? (got it...i see your response above).

For me, the biggest "Moneyball" concept that Cora has highlighted is that walks aren't necessarily to be avoided. That was a big story of the post-season, I think. The notion that pitchers shouldn't necessarily be focused on avoiding giving up the walk. If the K is not likely, then in today's three-outcome game you're looking at BB or HR. I know which one I'd rather have...
 

TFisNEXT

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Ahh, I see. But in a "three-true-outcome" game, how does this affect anything (other than increasing your SBs, I guess?) Or is the idea that you forego the three-true-outcome game and focus on putting the ball in play, in conjunction with taking extra bases, being aggressive, etc.? (got it...i see your response above).

For me, the biggest "Moneyball" concept that Cora has highlighted is that walks aren't necessarily to be avoided. That was a big story of the post-season, I think. The notion that pitchers shouldn't necessarily be focused on avoiding giving up the walk. If the K is not likely, then in today's three-outcome game you're looking at BB or HR. I know which one I'd rather have...
I think the really short version of it is:

- SB attempts and hit and runs are more likely to be successful against the shift

Not that he's necessarily saying don't take a walk. Cora is smart enough to know the value of walks and HRs...he played on Red Sox teams that were the best in the league at that type of offensive game. I just think they found that the hitters were being overly passive at times. So Cora was focusing on trying to be more efficient. He mentioned it when he first got here that Houston took advantage of the passiveness in the 2017 ALDS by throwing strike 1 so often to the Red Sox hitters because they knew they wouldn't swing.
 

DeadlySplitter

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ALCS game 4 was two heavyweights going at it in every way and us coming out on top by an inch. I fucking loved that game.
 

chrisfont9

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My favorite moment was the last pitch of the season:

View attachment 24424
One more thing to love about Cora is the 9th inning. On the field were Sale, the Bs outfield, Holt at 2B, Pierce at first. Except for JD and Nunie, this lineup is the soul of this team and deserved to be on the field at the end. Yes, others did too but if you have to pick 9 in an NL park, this is it.
 

TheShynessClinic

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One more thing to love about Cora is the 9th inning. On the field were Sale, the Bs outfield, Holt at 2B, Pierce at first. Except for JD and Nunie, this lineup is the soul of this team and deserved to be on the field at the end. Yes, others did too but if you have to pick 9 in an NL park, this is it.
I know it was a forgone conclusion if the Sox were winning late in the game - but having Bradley be out there with Betts and 10D at the end of the game just felt so right. Them running in together is the thing I'll remember most from this season.
 

lapa

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It says A LOT about this team that almost everyone who played made a pretty major highlight contribution at one point or another during this post season
 

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You guys have nailed it with all of the above so I'll just add a minor thing, watching Devers play 3rd.

He's gone from a guy who makes you hold your breath every time he throws into a marksman. That play to get Machado in the 9th in G4 was a thing of beauty.
 

garlan5

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The celebration in locker room with the whole team singing a country song. Here's the song by Josh Turner, "your man". And here's the crappy video I took with my phone of then celebrating. Mitch and Vaz slow dancing
 

The Racoon

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You guys have nailed it with all of the above so I'll just add a minor thing, watching Devers play 3rd.

He's gone from a guy who makes you hold your breath every time he throws into a marksman. That play to get Machado in the 9th in G4 was a thing of beauty.
Not gonna lie: I still held my breath on every throw he took...


Let's see if we can find a highlight moment in this years postseason for every guy / position:

1B: Moreland's 3 run shot in G4 of the WS | Pearce: HRs in G5 (and more) of WS, MVP
2B: Brock Holts cycle in G3 of ALCS | Kinsler: Bad moment in WS G3, but he had a nice RBI double in G4 against the MFY
3B: Devers HR of Verlander | Nunez HR in WS G1 and final out in ALDS
SS: Bogey had a HR in the G2 loss to the MFY and 2 RBI in G4 against Houston but not much else with the bat - any defining moments with the glove?
LF: Benni's catch in G4 against the Astros
CF: ALCS MVP (Grand Slam, 9 RBI...) for JBJ
RF: Mookieference at Houston / Throwing out Kemp
DH: 3R Bomb to start the postseason for JD
C: Vazquez starting the rally in WS G2 and the HR in the toilet | Sandy: Blocked a lot of tough pitches in the ALDS with runners on in late innings (seems so long ago)

Sale: Sending MM to his knees
Price: G5 WS winner
Eovaldi: G3 WS heroics
Porcello: Decent starts, great out of the bullpen several times!
Rodriguez: Great start (minus one pitch) to give them a chance in WS G4 and a big out in G1 against the Dodgers with 2 inherited runners and a 1 run lead
Kelly / Kimbrel / Brasier / Barnes: Too many clutch relief appearances to list them all, did the bullpen give up any leads (Kinsler error aside) in this postseason?

Complete team effort - and I certainly have missed some moments; the Yankees series seems like it's been a year ago...
 
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garlan5

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Not gonna lie: I still held my breath on every throw he took...


Let's see if we can find a highlight moments in this years postseason for every guy / position:

1B: Moreland's 3 run shot in G4 of the WS | Pearce: HRs in G5 (and more) of WS, MVP
2B: Brock Holts cycle in G3 of ALCS | Kinsler: Bad moment in WS G3, but he had a nice RBI double in G4 against the MFY
3B: Devers HR of Verlander | Nunez HR in WS G1 and final out in ALDS
SS: Bogey had a HR in the G2 loss to the MFY and 2 RBI in G4 against Houston but not much else with the bat - any defining moments with the glove?
LF: Benni's catch in G4 against the Astros
CF: ALCS MVP (Grand Slam, 9 RBI...) for JBJ
RF: Mookieference at Houston / Throwing out Kemp
DH: 3R Bomb to start the postseason for JD
C: Vazquez starting the rally in WS G2 and the HR in the toilet | Sandy: Blocked a lot of tough pitches in the ALDS with runners on in late innings (seems so long ago)

Sale: Sending MM to his knees
Price: G5 WS winner
Eovaldi: G3 WS heroics
Porcello: Decent starts, great out of the bullpen several times!
Rodriguez: Great start (minus one pitch) to give them a chance in WS G4 and a big out in G1 against the Dodgers with 2 inherited runners and a 1 run lead
Kelly / Kimbrel / Brasier / Barnes: Too many clutch relief appearances to list them all, did the bullpen give up any leads (Kinsler error aside) in this postseason?

Complete team effort - and I certainly have missed some moments; the Yankees series seems like it's been a year ago...
I was going to do this myself. I was thinking just about everyone who played contributed in some positive way. Except maybe Blake. No hard feelings Blake
 

Manuel Aristides

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I was going to do this myself. I was thinking just about everyone who played contributed in some positive way. Except maybe Blake. No hard feelings Blake
Except that, by having a third catcher on the roster, they were able to pinch hit Devers for Leon in game 4. That pinch hit ended up being the 9th inning go-ahead RBI. Also, Swihart avoided the DP in his ensuing AB, which moved Devers up and forced the IBB of Mookie, keeping the chain moving for more runs down the order. Swihart then survived his one critical inning behind the plate. Not a "heroic" moment, but a pivotal contribution.

Also, all kinds of awesome in that the Sox engaged in roster gymnastics all year to keep Swihart around, played him just enough to be sure he could be trusted in a pinch, and ended up needing him for exactly one critical double switch.
 

S. H. Frog

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ALCS game 4 was two heavyweights going at it in every way and us coming out on top by an inch. I fucking loved that game.
Seconded. They won Houston's game. That was the way Houston won the World Series last year, and they got beat at it. It was an absolutely sick baseball game, and winning it put the ether to the Astors.

Similarly, not folding up after the 18-inning game in LA was a statement.
 

BusRaker

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Mitchie's pinch-hit 3-run homer to make it 4-3 in the 7th inning of game 4. It seemed like LA was cruising to even the series before that swing, and then everything was in doubt.
 

tims4wins

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My god did Devers have some huge at bats.

Game 2 ALCS, singles home a run in the bottom of the first to make it 2-0. Draws a walk in the 3rd and scores ahead of JBJ's wall ball double after the Sox were behind 4-2. Singles leading off the 8th and later scores on Mookie's double to increase the lead from 6-4 to 7-4.

Game 3 ALCS, bottom 8, Sox up 3-2, singles with 1 on and 1 out. Holt and Moreland HBP and JBJ homer later, 3-2 become 8-2.

Game 4 ALCS, 2 run single in the top of the first to give the Sox a 2-0 lead.

Game 5 ALCS, 3 run homer in the 6th that gave the Sox the win.

Game 1 WS, huge RBI single in the bottom of the 5th to extend the lead from 4-3 to 5-3.

Game 4 WS, take the lead RBI single in the top of the 9th.

That's a lot of huge moments.
 

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I like Chris Sale's Game 4 rant and the Martinez home run yesterday. JD was struggling a little and at times it looked like the Dodgers had figured something out. When he hit the bomb to CF last night, I knew it was over.

The player to player ovations were great too, Eovaldi's in the clubhouse and Sale's as he entered for the 9th.
 

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Mitchie's pinch-hit 3-run homer to make it 4-3 in the 7th inning of game 4. It seemed like LA was cruising to even the series before that swing, and then everything was in doubt.
I'm seconding this one and I think Pearce and Price's heroics are going to overshadow this home run's significance over time. But the simple reality is that the Sox were coming off an excruciatingly painful loss in Game 3 and were down 4-0 late heading into the teeth of the Dodgers' pen in Game 4. If Moreland makes an out, that game is almost certainly an L, which means you have a TON of pressure on this team in Game 5 and you're going back to Boston with Sale being a question mark and possibly being down 3-2. The Dodgers didn't know it yet but Moreland's HR was the huge series inflection point that many of us assumed Kinsler's error would be.
 

The Racoon

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Adding on about Devers:
His defense was good as well. Not only the laser he threw to get Machado late in game 4 but the DP in the 1st inning yesterday felt huge for Price and it wasn't that easy to pick that ball. If he had butchered that play, the Dodgers have 2 runners on with no outs in the first after their HR... this game could have gone south very quickly.