Boston Red Sox: Top 10 postseason performances of the 21st century

David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox
Nathan Eovaldi #17 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox top postseason performer No. 5: Nathan Eovaldi, 2018

On a team filled with stud starting pitchers such as Chris Sale, David Price, and Rick Porcello, it was Nathan Eovaldi who emerged as the best of the bunch during the team’s 2018 World Series run. Eovaldi turned into a jack-of-all-trades, but it didn’t matter the role; whenever he was called upon, Eovaldi was simply dominant.

Eovaldi started off his postseason run with a sterling seven inning outing against the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALDS. In fairness, Eovaldi, was given a 10 run cushion to work with by the time he took the mound for the fourth inning, but he still had to get outs against a potent Yankees lineup, and he did.

Eovaldi kept up the momentum in the ALCS against the Astros, going six innings in Game 3, picking up a win in the process. Eovaldi did deal with a bit of trouble, and coughed up a 2-0 lead along the way, but rebounded to get through the sixth inning before the lineup eventually blew the game open. Eovaldi was brought out of the bullpen in the Game 5 clincher, and helped escape a Matt Barnes created jam in the seventh before quickly getting through the eighth inning.

Eovaldi really earned his money in the World Series against the Dodgers, and he ended up doing all his work out of the bullpen. Eovaldi again pitched a clean eighth inning in both Games 1 & 2, cementing his status as one of Boston’s best late-inning arms. But nobody could have expected what he was about to do in Game 3 of the series.

It’s ironic that Eovaldi’s legacy defining performance came in a game he ended up getting credited with a loss. But manager Alex Cora was running out of arms in the bullpen, and decided to call on Eovaldi and see where he could get with him. Eovaldi came in for the 12th inning and ended up pitching six innings until Max Muncy hit a walkoff home run in the bottom of the 18th inning.

What often gets remembered though is just how good Eovaldi was in this game. He breezed through the Dodgers inning after inning, all on just one day of rest, and basically pitched a full start out of the bullpen. He probably should have only been limited to two innings of work, but Ian Kinsler committed an error on a play that would have ended the game, but instead allowed Muncy to score the tying run in the 13th inning.

That was the last we would see of Eovaldi on the season, but his legendary Game 3 outing earned him praise from all across the league. There aren’t many pitchers in the league who would be up for the challenge Eovaldi took on that night, and it ended up saving the bullpen, and possibly Boston’s season, even though they lost. There aren’t many performances similar to Eovaldi’s in MLB history, and he more than earned himself a spot on this list.