Three hits in five games wouldn’t typically result in an American League Championship Series MVP Award.
But, fortunately for the Red Sox, Jackie Bradley Jr. did some serious damage with those three swings. Bradley provided a clutch three-run double in Game 2, a seismic grand slam in Game 3, and a pivotal, go-ahead, two-run blast in Game 4.
He finished the series with a .200 average – the lowest ever for an MVP of any championship series – but his nine RBIs were more than enough. The Red Sox won both the game and the ALCS, 4-1, advancing to their first World Series since 2013.
“The approach is just to try and do everything you possibly can to help the team out,” Bradley said on TBS after the clinching game. “Happened to come up in some big opportunities and big moments, and I was able to cash in on those moments.”
Bradley acknowledged running around the bases after his grand slam in Game 3 was a great feeling, and his teammates laughed as he confessed as much on TBS.
“There’s no other way around it,” Bradley said. “That was a big moment. To be able to get those extra runs and give us some momentum off it, and finally finish it off today, I’ll forever remember it.”
Most RBI in an ALCS, Red Sox history:
David Ortiz – 11 (2004)
Manny Ramirez – 10 (2007)
Jackie Bradley Jr. – 9 (2018)
Mike Lowell – 8 (2007)
— Red Sox Notes (@SoxNotes) October 18, 2018
The Red Sox are 14-0 this year, including in the playoffs, when Bradley belts a home run. He hit .198 as of July 7, but he came alive in the second half of the season and gained momentum heading into the playoffs.
Bradley reminded fans that – as exciting of an accomplishment as this is – the Red Sox aren’t done yet. They’ve almost reached their ultimate goal, but they still have to win the World Series to make it all worth it.
“I just think it’s putting it all in perspective,” Bradley said. “We knew what we set out and what we wanted to do since day one, and this is just a stepping-stone. Like everybody keeps repeating, we’ve got four more. That’s what we’re all focusing on, and everybody has the same mindset and same intent, that’s winning. No egos, that’s our main focus.”