Jackie Bradley Jr. ‘Speechless’ After ALCS MVP Performance For Red Sox

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October 19, 2018

Jackie Bradley Jr. had just three hits in five games, as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series to punch their ticket to the 2018 World Series.

But man, did he make them count.

Bradley delivered a huge three-run double off the Green Monster in Game 2, a monstrous grand slam in Game 3 and a go-ahead, two-run homer in Game 4. He was named MVP of the ALCS after Game 5, which the Red Sox won 4-1 on Thursday night at Minute Maid Park.

“Speechless,” Bradley, trying to actually put the moment into words, told reporters in Houston shortly after the Red Sox eliminated the defending World Series champions. “It’s amazing. I have amazing teammates, amazing staff. Everybody’s such a blessing.

“This is what we set out to do when we came 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 sure is an unlikely hero. He batted just .198 through July 7, lending evidence to the argument his 2016 All-Star campaign was an aberration. But Red Sox manager Alex Cora stuck with the 28-year-old, who typically provides sensational defense if nothing else, and Bradley rewarded that faith with a solid second half and an ALCS for the ages.

“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.

“And defensively, you want to try to make all the plays you possibly can in order to help the team. And don’t want to give away any outs. We’re playing against some really good ball teams here. So runs and outs are at a premium.”

Bradley debuted with the Red Sox in 2013, coincidentally the last year in which Boston won the World Series. He has had plenty of ups and downs since then, but the organization has stuck with him, confident the 2011 first-round pick was the perfect guy to fill the shoes vacated by former Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who signed with the New York Yankees after the 2013 season.

“It’s very rewarding,” Bradley said after Thursday’s victory. “You always set out to do, possibly do everything that you can in order to stay up here and compete, help win any way possible.

“It’s a lot of work. It doesn’t come easy. And I want to continue to work, perfect my craft and hopefully keep on winning.”

For Bradley and the Red Sox, three hits helped secure four big wins against the Astros. Now, it’s on to the Fall Classic, where Bradley will look to provide more clutch heroics in Boston’s quest of Major League Baseball’s most important piece of hardware: a World Series trophy.

Thumbnail photo via Elsa/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports Images
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