The Boston Red Sox won the 2018 World Series on Sunday, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games to complete one of the most impressive team seasons in recent memory. The Red Sox won 108 games during the regular season, then easily dispatched the New York Yankees and Houston Astros en route to their World Series victory. They deserve every bit of praise they receive in the coming weeks and months.
Likewise, the Red Sox deserve the World Series championship rings they'll receive next spring. Some players, however, did a little more to earn those rings than others. Sure, Chris Sale, David Price, Mookie Betts, and J.D. Martinez deserve their forthcoming jewelry. And the Red Sox shouldn't forget about how much Steve Pearce and Nathan Eovaldi contributed in October.
But some of the players set to gain hardware will leave you asking -- who? And why? Let's take a look at the six most obscure 2018 Red Sox and recap their contributions to the club.
No. 6 Robby Scott, left-handed pitcher
Scott had a successful run in Boston's bullpen in 2017. He couldn't keep the momentum rolling in 2018, as he allowed 10 hits and six runs in 6 2/3 innings. To Scott's credit, he did end the season on a relative high note. To Scott's debit, that "relative high note" comprised five scoreless appearances ... in which he gave up four hits, walked two and recorded eight outs.
No. 5 Justin Haley, right-handed pitcher
Haley pitched in four games for the 2018 Red Sox. Three of those were decided by seven-plus runs. He faced 35 batters and didn't strike out any of them. As such, Haley will literally end this season with one more championship ring than big-league strikeout. That's doing all right at doing all right, if you ask us.
No. 4 Brandon Phillips, infielder
We mean no disrespect to Phillips for including him on this list. He was one of the top second basemen of his generation, after all. Still, Phillips will get a World Series ring because he appeared in nine games with the Red Sox and went 3 for 23 with a home run. When people reflect on Phillips's career, they're not going to remember this part.
No. 3 Jalen Beeks, right-handed pitcher
On the one paw, Beeks didn't do much for the Red Sox by himself. He pitched in two games, yielding nine runs in 6 1/3 innings. On the other, Boston was able to turn him into Nathan Eovaldi at the trade deadline, and Eovaldi proved pivotal in October. Beeks may go on to have a fine career with the Tampa Bay Rays, but the Red Sox won't regret the deal no matter what.
No. 2 Dan Butler, catcher
Butler is a glove-only backstop who entered the season with seven big-league appearances -- all of them coming in 2014. He added two to that tally in August, when Boston brought him up in place of the injured Blake Swihart. Butler went 1 for 6 with two strikeouts.
No. 1. Tony Renda
Renda is an infielder, but we omitted that because he didn't play the field for the Red Sox. He didn't come to the plate, either. Rather, Renda appeared in one game (on August 5) when he pinch-ran for Sandy Leon in the bottom of the 10th. He subsequently scored the winning run, and that was that. Give Renda this: he made the most of his opportunity with the Red Sox.
If you remember one thing about the World Series champion Boston Red Sox, remember this: They did not get to 108 wins without Tony Renda.