Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers came through with a pinch-hit RBI base hit in the 9th inning to win Game 4 of the World Series.
Alex Cora should take Rafael Devers out for all the ice cream he can eat. The third baseman has made a habit of driving in runs during the postseason in his young career and he came through again in Game 4 of the World Series.
Following a one-out double by Brock Holt, Devers stepped to the plate as a pinch-hitter for Sandy Leon. After patiently taking a pair of pitches outside the zone to get ahead in the count 2-0, Devers lined a changeup down and away up the middle to break the 4-4 tie in the 9th inning.
Devers now has nine RBI in 10 games this postseason and 14 RBI in 14 career playoff games. His last RBI came in Game 1 of the World Series, hours shy of his 22nd birthday. He would end up being lifted early in that game, depriving him of the chance to break Andruw Jones‘ record for most postseason RBI before the age of 22.
An 0-for-7 stretch over his last two appearances snapped an 8-game postseason streak with an RBI for Devers, which had tied a major league record.
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He now starts a new streak with perhaps the most important RBI of his career, putting the Red Sox up three games to one in the World Series.
Boston would end up scoring five runs in the inning to push their advantage to an insurmountable lead. The final score undersells the importance of the Devers hit though. If Devers makes the second out of the inning without driving in a run, Blake Swihart‘s ground out would have ended the inning without any damage done. The game would have remained tied with another extra-innings affair looming.
There’s a decent chance these teams would still be playing right now if Devers hadn’t fueled the rally with his RBI base hit (yes, even if you are reading this tomorrow, the game might still be going on if it weren’t for Devers).
Or it may have meant another Red Sox loss. The Dodgers did rally for a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth. Is Craig Kimbrel more locked in with the score tied rather than the comfort of a five-run lead? Do the Red Sox even send in Kimbrel without the lead? Who knows how the rest of the game would have panned out.
We’ll never know and thanks to Devers we don’t have to worry about it. The Red Sox won it in the ninth and we can all get to sleep at a reasonable hour tonight.