All you need to know, in quickie form, about the Red Sox' 9-1 victory over the Orioles, complete with BSJ analysis and insight:
Eovaldi finishes strong: It surely wasn't the year that Nathan Eovaldi had envisioned. In the middle of August, he got rocked for eight runs in a disastrous start against the Yankees and not long after, he was shelved for three weeks with a calf pull. But on the whole, Eovaldi pitched pretty well, posting a 3.72 ERA. And he closed out his season in style with six shutout innings Wednesday against Baltimore — striking out eight. Even better, he allowed just one run in his final three starts after coming off the IL, covering 14 innings, carrying some momentum into the offseason. "It definitely had its ups and downs,'' said Eovaldi when reflecting back on this season. "I felt like I finished strong. Coming off the injury, I used that time to figure out my splitter. Coming back, it was there and it definitely showed for me.'' Ron Roenicke said Eovaldi took a bigger step forward in recognizing that it isn't essential to operate at maximum effort with every pitch. By dialing it down some, Eovaldi had far better command with the zone, made fewer mistakes and had the lowest walk rate of his career.
Verdugo cited as team MVP: It might have been a hugely disappointing season for Boston, but the team's poor record can hardly be attributed to Alex Verdugo. He was a superb defender in both corner outfield spots, ran the bases aggressively and adapted to an unfamiliar role as the team's leadoff hitter. Along the way, he seemed to be on-base almost constantly (OBP: .383). Wednesday night was no different as Verdugo reached base twice and scored both times. Before the game, Roenicke was asked who his pick was for team MVP, and while he initially indicated he didn't like making such pronouncements, he agreed that Verdugo was the logical choice. Given that he's among the league league leaders in a host of offensive categories and, according to FanGraphs, Verdugo is tied for fifth among all MLB outfielders with eight defensive runs saved.