The Red Sox were three batters into Game 5 of the World Series and they already had a lead, thanks again to first baseman Steve Pearce. In the lineup strictly because lefty Clayton Kershaw was on the bump, Pearce drilled a first-pitch 92 MPH fastball over the fence in left-center to put the Red Sox up 2-0.
The game is far from over, though, as the Dodgers responded in the bottom half of the first. David Freese, also in the lineup strictly because of lefty starter David Price, hit a leadoff solo home run to make it 2-1.
Entering Sunday’s game, Pearce was hitting .265/.419/.500 with a pair of home runs and a pair of doubles, nine walks, eight RBI, and 10 runs scored in 43 plate appearances this postseason. He has reached base safely in all 13 playoff games.
Pearce hit a game-tying solo homer off of Kenley Jansen in the eighth inning of Saturday night’s Game 4. He then blew it wide open with a bases-clearing double off of Kenta Maeda in the top of the ninth inning. He would later score on a Xander Bogaerts single and the Red Sox went on to win 9-6.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.