BOSTON (CBS) — Among Boston Red Sox starters in the regular season, Jackie Bradley Jr. ranked last in batting average, and second-to-last in both slugging percentage and OPS.
But the regular season doesn’t mean much come playoff time, as evidenced by Bradley delivering a series of critical hits in Boston’s 4-1 ALCS win over the Red Sox. And as a result of that offense, he was named MVP of the series.
“Speechless. It’s amazing. I have amazing teammates, amazing staff. Everybody’s such a blessing,” Bradley said after Boston’s 4-1 win in Game 5. “This is what we set out to do when we come to spring training. And we battled — we’ve been battle tested, played against a lot of great ball teams. This is definitely a special moment.”
Bradley was given the honors following Boston’s 4-1 win over the Astros in Game 5 in Houston on Thursday night. He was 0-for-3 with a walk in Game 5, but it was his work in Games 2-4 that earned the honor for Bradley.
In Game 2, he delivered a three-run double off the Monster, turning a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 lead with one swing of the bat. The Red Sox would never give up that lead.
In Game 3, in a tight 4-2 game in the eighth inning, Bradley turned on a fastball from Roberto Osuna and smashed it over the right field fence for a grand slam. The game was officially out of reach for Houston.
And in Game 4, with the Red Sox trailing 5-4 in the sixth inning, Bradley crushed a first-pitch changeup from Josh James and again sent it over the wall in right field. That homer turned a one-run deficit into a one-run lead, and yet again, the Red Sox would not relinquish that lead.
All three of those hits came with two outs, as well.
“I felt good. I felt good,” Bradley said. “I think it kind of just all boils down to having a game plan and obviously executing. You can have a game plan but sometimes it might not work out. But as a batter you want to swing at good pitches. You want to swing at pitches you can handle.”
Bradley joins Marty Barrett (1986), David Ortiz (2004), Josh Beckett (2007), and Koji Uehara (2013) as Red Sox to have earned ALCS MVP honors.