Sunday, October 28, 2018

Pearce Made Difference For Red Sox, Wins World Series MVP


Steve Pearce played for all five American League East teams in his career before he found a home in Boston this season, and he was as key as anybody to the Red Sox's success in the playoffs.

Pearce won the World Series Most Valuable Player award after he racked up three home runs and eight RBI in the series, which was won in five games over the Dodgers.

On Saturday night, in Game 4, Pearce hit a solo home run off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to tie the game at four in the eighth inning, bringing Boston all the way back from a 4-0 deficit in the sixth.

In the ninth, Rafael Devers gave Boston the lead with an RBI single, but it was Pearce's three-run double to deep right that gave Boston an 8-4 lead and they went on to win 9-6.

Pearce picked up right where he left off on Sunday night, as he hit a two-run bomb off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in the first inning.

In the eighth, he hit his second dinger of the night, a solo homer off Pedro Baez that made it 5-1 and put the game away for Boston, and sealed their championship.

Pearce joined Babe Ruth and Ted Kluszewski as the only players 35 and older to have a multi-homer game in the World Series.

Here is what Pearce had to say to the media afterwards:

Q. Is this beyond your wildest dream to be the MVP of the World Series?
STEVE PEARCE: It sure is. It sure is. This has been a lifelong journey. And to be here right now is a dream come true.

Q. What was it like out there celebrating right after the game with your teammates?
STEVE PEARCE: Best feeling in my life. This is what you grow up wishing that you could be a part of something like this. With that special group of guys out there, to celebrate with them, that was awesome.

Q. You've obviously been on a lot of teams, why did this one strike you as special from the outset?
STEVE PEARCE: You know, you see how much fun they have, playing against them all the time and how good they are. And to come over and be a part of that team, the chemistry that they had, they welcomed me with open arms from day one. And they made it very easy for me to play my game of baseball, and I couldn't be any happier.

Q. Anybody tell you the history you made tonight?

Q. That would be you joined Babe Ruth and Ted Kluszewski as the only players 35 or older with multiple-homer games in a World Series. Does that, being mentioned with Babe Ruth in the World Series and history, mean something special to you?
STEVE PEARCE: Sure, that's great company. Those guys were the best. And if my name gets to sit right next to theirs, I know I've accomplished something.

Q. If I could follow up real quick, getting off to start that you guys did, and thanks to your home run, what did that mean against Clayton tonight right off the bat?
STEVE PEARCE: It's big. You've got to strike early on that guy. You saw how he settled in in the middle innings. And, yeah, just to be able to get my pitch and not miss it, and give us an early lead, that was big for our club.

Q. When you just think about this season, where it started, being in Toronto and now being here as World Series MVP, how do you put into words this wild ride that 2018 has been?
STEVE PEARCE: You know, baseball is a funny game. You never know where the game will take you. And I've gone through a lot in my life or in my career to be here, and I couldn't be more thankful.

Q. How much would you love to return to this team next year and in the future?
STEVE PEARCE: I would definitely love it. We're world champions. To be able to be open up next season at Fenway Park with the ring ceremony and everything that goes along with it and to drop the banner for the 2018 world champions, that would definitely -- I would love that.

Q. You obviously had a great series, David Price also had a great series for you guys. What kind of lift did he give you guys, not just tonight but really the last two series?
STEVE PEARCE: He was dominant. We love when he's on the mound. When he takes it, he's a bulldog. He competes. And I couldn't be any happier for him. It was an awesome performance, and he shut one of the best teams down, and he pitched in a game-clinching World Series game. That's the guy we want on the mound and he delivered.

Q. You guys down 4-0 top of the 7th in Game 4. They sense maybe they're going to draw the series even and everything switched. Mitch and you with the home runs. Take us through what's kind of going through your mind from that moment on yesterday to winning it all?
STEVE PEARCE: Well, I mean that's what this team is all about, we grind together. And I think that's one of the best things that probably the sum-up of our season, we're together. And we got the ball rolling late in the game, and when Mitch delivered that home run, we knew we were going to find a way to win that game. And we got back to our baseball because we played about 20 innings of sub-par offense. Once Mitch delivered that boom, it kind of sparked us and lifted us. And we got back to playing our type of baseball.

Q. Just to share this moment with Jensen, to have your family here, what does all of this mean with you?
STEVE PEARCE: This is the greatest feeling of my life, when you're a kid, this is where you want to be. And it's happening right now. And I get to celebrate it with my family and friends back there. And I know they're happy. They're on cloud nine, as I am. How are you feeling? She's feeling good. This is a great moment. I'm so glad I get to share it with everybody.

Q. In the short period you were here, what was it like to play for Alex Cora as the manager, especially since he's a guy who's in his first year?
STEVE PEARCE: You know, he's an amazing man. He always seems to make the right moves. Whatever he says, we listen and we do it. We gelled together behind him, and everybody knew their roles because he was such a great leader, we followed him. I couldn't have asked for a better manager to play with, play for. In this great moment that we've had, it's been a great season, and he's definitely been the head of all of it, and it's great playing for him.

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