Steve Pearce named MVP of World Series

14 Comments

Red Sox journeyman Steve Pearce was named MVP of the 2018 World Series. The 35-year-old, who grew up a Red Sox fan and was selected by the Red Sox (but did not sign) in the 2004 draft, hit three homers in the span of two games, knocking in seven runs as the Red Sox won the championship in five games.

Pearce was hitless in the first three games, but did draw three walks while scoring a run and knocking in a run. His impact was felt in Game 4, as his solo home run in the eighth inning off of Kenley Jansen tied the game up at four apiece. Pearce then hit a bases-clearing double off of Kenta Maeda in the ninth, padding his team’s lead to 8-4. Pearce opened the scoring in Game 5 with a first-inning, two-run homer off of Clayton Kershaw and added a solo shot for good measure off of Pedro Báez in the eighth to push the lead to 5-1.

Pearce joins David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, and Manny Ramirez as members of the Red Sox to win the World Series MVP award, which began in 1955.

Pearce’s transaction history is a wild journey:

  • Selected by Pirates in eighth round of 2005 draft
  • Signs with Twins as a free agent (Dec. 2011)
  • Signs with Yankees as a free agent (March 2012)
  • Purchased by Orioles (June 2012)
  • Selected off waivers by Astros (July 2012)
  • Purchased by Yankees (August 2012)
  • Selected off waivers by Orioles (September 2012)
  • Re-signs with Orioles as a free agent (April 2014)
  • Signs with Rays as a free agent (Jan. 2016)
  • Traded to Orioles (Aug. 2016)
  • Signs with Blue Jays as a free agent (Dec. 2016)
  • Traded to Red Sox (June 2018)

Quite the feel-good story. The baseball postseason has a way of bringing out the best from these kinds of players. Pearce’s postseason performance has shades of Cody Ross.

Phillies-Mets could get contentious tonight

Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

As the Mets were wrapping up a 9-0 shellacking of the Phillies on Tuesday night, reliever Jacob Rhame threw a pitch up and in to first baseman Rhys Hoskins with two outs in the ninth inning. The pitch sailed behind Hoskins’ back. The slugger wasn’t happy about the scare, understandably. Players began to trickle out of their respective dugouts, but a fracas was avoided.

Hoskins was skeptical that Rhame simply missed his spot. Per MLB.com’s Thomas Harrigan, Hoskins said, “He didn’t miss up and in the rest of the inning, so I’ll let you decide. I would assume teams are pitching me in because that’s where they think they can get me out, and that’s fine. That’s part of the game. Again, I think most guys are capable of pitching inside and not missing that bad.”

Teammate Bryce Harper said, “I don’t get it. I understand that two of their guys got hit yesterday. But, I mean, if it’s baseball and you’re going to drill somebody, at least hit him in the [butt]. Not in the head. You throw 98, it’s scary now. You could kill somebody. Lose your eyesight. That’s bigger than the game.”

Indeed, two Mets were hit by pitches on Monday night. José Álvarez hit Jeff McNeil in the seventh inning, which advanced a base runner. In the very next at-bat, Juan Nicasio hit Pete Alonso with a first-pitch fastball. It was obvious neither was intentional as the Phillies were only down two runs and hitting both batters advanced base runners and led to runs scoring. It is less obvious that Rhame’s pitch to Hoskins was unintentional, but he showed empathy in his post-game comments. Rhame said, “When you accidentally sail one, it’s probably pretty scary. I’d get [angry], too.”

Will Wednesday night’s series finale be contentious? Despite being “fairly upset,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said, “We do not retaliate, and we do not throw at anybody intentionally,” Jake Seiner of the Associated Press reports.

Mets manager Mickey Calloway didn’t give as straight an answer. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, Calloway said, “I think at this point, you just go out there and beat people, and win. … For now, I don’t feel like anything has been intentional at us that has warranted anything from our side.” If that changes, however, Calloway said, “They’re going to have each other’s backs.”

Hopefully, neither side decides to take justice into their own hands. But, welcome to the NL East in 2019. The Mets lead the Phillies by one game, and the Braves and Nationals by 1.5 games. It’s going to be a knock-down, drag-out division fight all year long.