9 weird and obscure stats from the Red Sox’ World Series win

A strange series produced some predictably strange stats.

Mookie Betts Clayton Kershaw
Mookie Betts hits a sixth inning home run off Clayton Kershaw in Game 5 of the World Series. –Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Even in just five games, the 2018 World Series produced some all-time statistics. Game 3 alone could be the subject of a case study, going 18 innings and involving virtually every player on each team’s roster.

In the end, the Red Sox emerged victorious. Boston, a 108-win team during the regular season, was a statistical masterpiece.

Still, their World Series win also produced a plethora of offbeat stats. To that end, here’s a look at some of the stranger stats from the 2018 Fall Classic:

First and last

Chris Sale became the first pitcher since Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser of the Detroit Tigers in 1945 to get the first and last outs of a World Series.

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The Red Sox pitching staff and…Don Larsen?

When David Price got Austin Barnes to strike out to end the fourth inning of Game 2, it began a streak of batters retired by Red Sox pitching that would stretch until the end of the game.

It was the longest game-closing streak since Don Larsen’s perfect game for the Yankees in the 1956 World Series (also against the Dodgers).

Bucking history

The Red Sox shook off their Game 3 loss in 18 innings to win Game 4 later in the day. That’s been an unusual development based on recent history:

Equalling a legend

World Series MVP Steve Pearce totaled three home runs in approximately the span of 24 hours in Games 4 and 5. In doing so, he matched the World Series career total of David Ortiz, who also had three (playing in three World Series’).

Joining recognizable company

Speaking of Pearce’s multi-home run Game 5, it placed him on a genuinely elite list of other players who have also achieved the feat in a World Series clinching game.

Of the 10 other players to do it, nine are in the Hall of Fame (the exception being the not-s0-anonymous Kirk Gibson).

A whole World Series in one game

The historically long 18-inning Game 3 took more than seven hours to finish, setting a playoff record.

That was underscored by the fact that Game 3 took longer in total time than the entire 1939 World Series:

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Surviving a slump

The Red Sox endured a pronounced slump from the top four hitters in the lineup during all of Game 3, and into Game 4. It reached 41 at-bats without a hit until Steve Pearce’s timely home run tied the game (leading to a Boston win).

One becomes three

Bernie Carbo was the only Red Sox pinch hitter to ever hit a three-run home run in a World Series. He did so in the famous Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, which ended with Carlton Fisk’s walk-off.

Then, in the span of a single week, decades of history in this specific stat changed forever when two Red Sox players repeated the feat.

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Bad timing turned on its head

After never experiencing a hitless streak lasting more than eight at-bats in the regular season, Mookie Betts – winner of the American League batting title in 2018 – was mired in an 0-13 streak in Game 5.

Then, with the Red Sox holding a one-run lead, he smashed a home run off Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw. It was his first career postseason home run. Slump over.