2018 World Series

Bedard: Bench and pinch-hit heroics continue to overcome struggles of Betts, Martinez

(Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES — The question was posed to Red Sox hitting coach Tim Hyers and he paused for several seconds before answering.

If I told you before the World Series that Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez would be scuffling like this, would you think you would be up 3-1 and one game from winning a championship?

"That is a great question," Hyers said before contemplating the season as a whole. "Yes ... but I would say it was going to be extremely hard for us to be where we’re at right now with their production down."

The Red Sox have indeed walked that tightrope, and Saturday night's 9-6 victory in Game 4 — which featured the Sox scoring all nine of their runs in the final three frames — was another perfect illustration.

While the Red Sox' tandem MVP candidates went a combined 0 for 8 with four strikeouts, role/platoon players like Steve Pearce, Mitch Moreland, Brock Holt and Rafael Devers combined to go 5 for 8 with two home runs, six runs scored, and eight RBI.

You don't have to tell Martinez about the value of the Red Sox' bench.