JBJ all the way
One of the keys throughout the series for the Red Sox was their production with two outs, and no one produced more in those situations than Jackie Bradley Jr., who was named ALCS MVP despite having only three hits in 15 at-bats. But he made those three hits count: a three-run double in Game 2, a grand slam in Game 3 and a go-ahead two-run homer in Game 4.
Bradley did not have a hit in nine plate appearances with no outs or one out, but was 3-for-6 with two home runs, a double and nine RBIs when batting with two outs.
Bradley's nine RBIs with two outs tied for the second-most ever in a postseason series, trailing only Yogi Berra's 10 RBIs in the 1956 World Series.
Rafael Devers had the biggest hit of the Game 5 clincher with a three-run homer off Justin Verlander in the sixth inning that gave Boston a 4-0 cushion. Devers' home run, which landed in the front row of the Crawford boxes in left field, wouldn't have cleared the walls in any other park than Minute Maid, assuming neutral weather conditions.
Devers' three postseason home runs before turning 22 are the second most in history, trailing Mickey Mantle, Miguel Cabrera, Bryce Harper and Andruw Jones. Devers is tied with Cabrera for the second most postseason RBIs before turning 22 with 12 (Jones had 14). Devers has only one game to move up those charts though. His 22nd birthday is Oct. 24, the day of Game 2 of the World Series is scheduled.
Rookie of the year
Alex Cora will attempt to be the fifth rookie manager to win the World Series; the most recent was Bob Brenly with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. Cora, who turned 43 on Thursday, is the first manager whose team clinched a postseason series on his birthday. ... The Red Sox are the third team to defeat multiple 100-win teams before the World Series, joining the 2001 New York Yankees and the 1998 San Diego Padres. Neither of those teams went on to win the World Series. ... With the Astros eliminated, there will not be a repeat World Series champion for the 18th straight year, the longest streak in MLB history. ... The Red Sox already eliminated the defending World Series champion Astros and potentially could eliminate the Los Angeles Dodgers, the defending National League champion, in the World Series. No team in postseason history has eliminated both of the previous season's World Series teams.
Love that dirty water
The Red Sox advancing to the World Series means it's yet another shot for a Boston-area pro sports team to win a title.
There have been only three years since 2001 when at least one of the the five MLB/NBA/NHL/NFL/MLS teams in the Boston area (Patriots, Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox and New England Revolution) did not compete in the championship round.