Getty Images

Yadier Molina wins 2018 Roberto Clemente Award

1 Comment

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has been named the winner of the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award. The Roberto Clemente Award, voted on by fans and members of the media, is an annual award given to the player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.”

Molina is the fifth Cardinal to win the award, joining Lou Brock (1975), Ozzie Smith (1995), Albert Pujols (2008), and Carlos Beltrán (2013). Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo won it last year.

Molina has been providing aid to victims of Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico last year. He posted about winning the award on Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

Hello fans, Yadi Molina here. I am so sorry I could’t be there to accept the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award in person, but I am currently in Colombia managing the next generation of Puerto Rican baseball stars on the under-23 national team playing in the Baseball World Cup. I tried my hardest to be there in person, but the travel was just impossible, so I sent my lovely wife and kids to be there for me. This award means more to me than I can express. As a native Puerto Rican, Roberto Clemente was everything I ever wanted to be growing up. He loved the game. He loved his island. He loved people. I pride myself in all of those things. So for me when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last year, I knew I wanted to make him and my island proud by serving any way that I could. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the Cardinals organization for nominating me, to MLB for recognizing the great Roberto Clemente year after year, and of course to the fans for supporting me and my foundation’s relief efforts this year. I wish I could be there, but just know that this honor is one of the proudest of my life. Good luck to the Dodgers and Red Sox for a great World Series! Thank you all! y en español … Puerto Rico Te Amo!! Gracias a todos . mis exitos son todos de ustedes !! Graciasss los amo

A post shared by @ yadier_marciano_molina on

Molina wasn’t available to receive the award in person on Wednesday because he is coaching the Puerto Rican 23-U national team in Colombia. Molina’s wife, Wanda, accepted the award on his behalf.

Juan Soto steals the show, powering Nationals past Astros 5-4 in World Series Game 1

Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images
6 Comments

Nationals outfielder Juan Soto stole the show on Tuesday night in Houston, going 3-for-4 with a double, a homer, three RBI, and a stolen base to power his team past the Astros 5-4 in Game 1 of the World Series.

The Astros jumped on Max Scherzer for two runs in the bottom of the first inning to open the scoring. Scherzer allowed the first two batters he faced to reach on a single and a walk, then struck out the next two batters before allowing a two-strike, two-out, two-run double to Yuli Gurriel. Given the way Gerrit Cole has pitched all year long, two runs seemed like plenty.

Cole did not have his best stuff on this particular night. Ryan Zimmerman answered with a solo home run to center field with two outs in the top of the second inning, cutting the deficit to 2-1. Juan Soto would absolutely obliterate a Cole offering for a solo homer of his own in the fourth inning, tying the game at two apiece. Soto became the fourth player in baseball history to hit a World Series home run before his 21st birthday.

The Nationals hung a three-spot in the top of the fifth against Cole, putting their first two batters on base thanks to a walk and a single. Adam Eaton brought home the go-ahead run with a line drive single to right field. Soto followed up by scorching a line drive off of the wall in front of the Crawford boxes to plate two more runs, padding the Nats’ lead to 5-2.

The two runs the Astros got in the first inning would be all they would get off of Scherzer, though they did make him labor in every inning. Scherzer ultimately threw 112 pitches over five innings, yielding five hits and three walks with seven strikeouts.

Patrick Corbin worked a scoreless sixth, working around a one-out single. His usage out of the bullpen likely means he starts Game 4, not Game 3. Manager Dave Martinez handed the ball to hard-throwing right-hander Tanner Rainey for the seventh inning, but it didn’t work out. Rainey gave up a leadoff home run to George Springer to make it 5-3. Springer has now homered in five consecutive World Series games, breaking a tie with Reggie Jackson and Lou Gehrig to set a new major league record. Rainey got into yet more trouble, issuing back-to-back one-out walks to Michael Brantley and Alex Bregman, forcing Martinez to use Daniel Hudson a little earlier than anticipated. Hudson, however, was able to wriggle out of danger in the seventh.

Hudson wasn’t as fortunate in the eighth inning as the Astros continued to claw their way back. Pinch-hitter Kyle Tucker led off with a single, advanced to second base on a deep fly ball to center fielder Victor Robles. Springer brought Tucker home on a fly ball to right-center field that bounced high off of the fence, very nearly becoming a game-tying two-run homer. He settled for an RBI double. Hudson got José Altuve to fly out before handing the ball to lefty Sean Doolittle, who got Brantley to line out to end the inning.

In the ninth, Doolittle returned to the bump to close out the game. He struck out Bregman, got Gurriel to fly out to center, and Correa did the same to end the contest. Nationals take Game 1, 5-4 over the Astros, earning their first World Series victory in franchise history.

Cole, by the way, was still able to complete seven innings. The right-hander threw 104 pitches, allowing the five runs on eight hits and a walk with six strikeouts. He allowed more than one run for the first time this postseason, and more than two runs for the first time since August 28 against the Rays. The Astros lost a game he started for the first time since July 12 against the Rangers.

The Nationals, big underdogs entering the World Series, now have a 1-0 series lead over the Astros, successfully vanquishing Cole. The two sides will meet again for Game 2 on Wednesday night. Justin Verlander will oppose Stephen Strasburg.