If you were too depressed by your own team’s failings to watch the World Series last night, you missed the Boston Red Sox cruise to a 8-1 thumping of the St. Louis Cardinals in the first game of the October Classic. Had it been a more competitive game, you likely would have caught an appearance by Red Sox relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is in midst of his first playoff run. It’s been a good one too.
Breslow has pitched in seven games in the postseason thus far and hasn’t surrendered a run. He even earned a win in one of those games, striking out four straight batters–the heart of the line-up–in the decisive game of Boston’s playoff series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Like Astros relief pitcher Josh Zeid, whom we featured yesterday, Breslow is also a Jew from New Haven, Conn., also went a stellar college (Yale), and has also done a bit of blogging about his experiences in baseball.
He’s also better at everything than everyone else. For starters, the man double-majored in molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale. Back in 2009, one writer for the Wall Street Journal dubbed him “the smartest man in baseball, if not the entire world.” His charity work with the Strike 3 Foundation has raised a lot of loot for cancer research and made him Boston’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award this year. Since joining the majors, Breslow has had stints with six different teams, including three different runs with the Red Sox, during on which this legend was born:
When Breslow pitched for the Red Sox [in 2006], he helped Josh Beckett win a bet with another teammate by calculating the number of times a baseball spins on the way to the plate on various pitches.
“It’s rather simple once you do it,” Breslow said.
When he was still in the minor leagues, Breslow also scored a 34 on the MCAT (the 93rd percentile—the test has a median average of 28) and was accepted to medical school at NYU. The school wanted him to give up baseball in order to enroll.
Now Craig Breslow is in the World Series. I’m sure his mother is disappointed.
Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.