Red Sox Win 2018 World Series

Ben Dawson

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As the clock struck midnight on the 2018 MLB season, the scene was a familiar one for baseball fans. For the fourth time in the last 14 years, the Boston Red Sox were named World Series Champions. The Red Sox had the league’s best record in the regular season, and continued to dominate all through October.

Their first round matchup reignited one of the best rivalries in all of sports, as the Sox took on the New York Yankees in the American League Divisions Series (ALDS). The series opened in Boston, and the teams split the first two games, with the home team taking Game 1 before the Yankees stole a road win in Game 2.

As the series shifted to the Bronx, the Red Sox took over. In a mind-blowing outburst of offense, the team scored a ridiculous 16 runs in Game 3. Infielder Brock Holt (below) became the first player in playoff history to hit for the cycle, and pitcher Nathan Eovaldi threw a fantastic game. The next night’s game was much closer, but the Red Sox came out on top once more to eliminate the Yankees in the best-of-5 series, and move on to the American League Championship Series (ALCS).

Photo: ftw.usatoday.com

A matchup with the defending champions awaited, as the Red Sox squared off in round 2 against the reigning champions, the Houston Astros. The teams posted the two best records in the league during the regular season, and the world was expecting a tightly contested series that would likely go down to the wire. Things didn’t necessarily pan out that way, as the Red Sox won the series in just 5 games. Losing the series opener, Boston rallied to win the next four (including 3 in a row on the road) and advance to the Fall Classic.

 

Photo: photo: WEEI.com

Finally, it was World Series time. Boston took on last year’s National League Champion, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were runner ups in the 2017 campaign, losing to the Astros. Returning the the World Series, the stage was set for two of most storied franchises to battle it out for the Commissioner’s Trophy.

Game 1 was billed to be a match between two titans on the mound, with Chris Sale going for the Red Sox and Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers. The two left handed CY Young winners did not exactly live up to expectation, as Kershaw gave up 2 runs in the first inning before Sale gave up a run in the second and the third. The game turned into more of an offensive contest than a pitching duel, with Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi racking up 4 hits to contribute to a total of 19 hits between the teams. The game was close going into the bottom of the 7th inning, with Boston up 5-4, before third basemen Eduardo Nunez (below) hit a pinch-hit 3 run homerun to put the Red Sox up by four. This ended up being the final blow of the game, and the final score was 8-4 in favor of the home team.

Photo: NewCastleNews.com

In Game 2, the storyline played out much differently. Red Sox starter David Price, who had previously had a lot of troubles pitching in the playoffs, was dominant, throwing six innings and giving up just three hits. The offense backed him up, behind a 2 RBI single from JD Martinez in the 5th inning. Three Red Sox relievers combined to retire the last nine batters after Price exited the game, and Boston prevailed with a hard fought 4-2 win.

The teams headed out to Los Angeles for Game 3 with the Red Sox holding a commanding 2-0 series lead. The Dodgers needed a win badly to try to climb back in the series, and they managed to do it in record breaking fashion. Game 3 went down in the history books as the single longest game in World Series history.  In a marathon game that took a jaw dropping 18 innings to complete, over 7 hours elapsed between the first and last pitches!

Photo: NewYorkPost.com

The game was a low scoring affair, as both starting pitchers, Rick Porcello for Boston and Walker Bueller for LA, were brilliant. The Dodgers were clinging to a 1-0 lead before center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr homered in the 8th inning to tie the game. Neither side was able to score in the 9th, so the game went to extra innings. It was another 4 innings before the Red Sox pushed across a run in the top half of the 13th inning, but the Dodgers responded with one of their own in the bottom half, so the game continued. Finally, in the bottom of the 18th inning, LA’s Max Muncy sent a ball over the left field wall, hitting the walk-off home run and ending Game 3.

In a pivotal Game 4, the offenses woke up again to provide a thrilling, down-to-the-wire finish. Scoreless headed into the 6th inning, a throwing error on Boston allowed LA to score, and then capitalize. The next batter, Yasiel Puig, mashed a fastball deep into the stands, giving the Dodgers a 4-0 lead. Dodger Stadium was electric, with most fans believing the home run would be enough to win the game and tie the series.

photo: CNBC.com

Boston had other ideas, and in the very next inning, pinch hitter Mitch Moreland hit a 3-run blast on the first pitch he saw to bring his team to within one. An inning later, first baseman Steve Pearce followed suit, tying the game at 4 with a towering home run. Then in the 9th inning, the Red Sox strung together a series of hits, and after third baseman Rafael Devers hit an RBI single to give the team a one run advantage, Pearce put the game out of reach with a bases-clearing 3 run double to make the score 8-4. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts tacked on another run for good measure before the innings end. Kiki Hernandez hit a two run home run for the Dodgers in the bottom of the 9th, but it wasn’t enough, and the Red Sox stole the victory, coming out on top 9-6, giving them a 3-1 series lead.

Game 5 represented a chance for the Red Sox to clinch the championship, and they did just that. In a game where both teams scored exclusively with home runs, Boston’s big bats were too much to handle for the Dodgers pitching staff. Steve Pearce put the Red Sox ahead early, with a two run homer in the top of the first. Dodgers first baseman David Freese responded with a solo shot, and the score stayed 2-1 until the 6th inning. Boston’s Mookie Betts and JD Martinez homered in the 6th and 7th innings, respectively, to put the Sox up by 3. In the 8th, Pearce homered for the 2nd time of the night to make the lead 5-1. The Red Sox ace, Chris Sale, came in to close out the game, and he struck out all three batters faced to clinch the World Series title.

 

Photo: BaltimoreSun.com

The World Series MVP award went to Steve Pearce (above), who helped the Red Sox clinch the championship with 3 home runs and a total of 8 RBI double in the series. Pearce was acquired by the Red Sox in the middle of this season, and had previously bounced around between six other teams before landing in Boston, the team he grew up loving. He will be a free agent this offseason, but the fan favorite has stated that he hopes to resign with the team.

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Red Sox Win 2018 World Series