The Boston Red Sox are once again World Series champions. The Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the series by a final score of 5-1 on Oct. 28. This win marks the ninth World Series title won by the Red Sox and the second of the decade.
The Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the series by a final score of 5-1 on Oct. 28.
The Red Sox and the Dodgers were both clear World Series contenders when the playoffs began, sporting formidable regular-season records. The Red Sox entered the postseason with a 108-54 record, the best in baseball throughout 2018. The Dodgers came in at 92-71, the second-best in the National League and fifth in baseball. Neither had an easy road to the World Series.
Boston began their run by defeating their traditional rival, the New York Yankees over four games. The third of these games was a 16-1 rout that went in favor of the Red Sox, displaying the full magnitude of the offensive firepower that earned them the best regular season record for 2018.
Their next challenge was the Houston Astros, another offensive flamethrower and defending World Series champs. The Red Sox beat the Astros in five games, dethroning the 2017 champions after they had made quick work of the Cleveland Indians in the first round.
Los Angeles started their postseason by beating the Atlanta Braves, then defeating the Milwaukee Brewers, who took them to six games. The Dodgers won the National League for the second year in a row, and showed incredible depth both at the plate and in the field.
Game three went down in history as the longest World Series match of all time, both in terms of innings and time. Throughout a contest lasting between seven and eight hours and spanning eighteen innings, both teams used nine pitchers. The game eventually ended in a 3-2 final score thanks to a solo home run off the bat of Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy. It was the only game of the series that the Dodgers would win.
Game five would see the Red Sox seal their championship win. Both teams got off to hot starts, launching home runs in the first inning. Steve Pearce of the Red Sox blasted a two-run homer on his first pitch from Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in the top of the inning, and Dodgers infielder David Freese knocked in a solo shot off Red Sox starter David Price in the bottom of the inning. Freese’s home run would be the only run that the Dodgers would score that night.
The Red Sox continued to swing for the fences as the night went on. Another solo home run from Pearce as well as two others from Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez brought the score to 5-1, and solidified the World Series for the Red Sox.
Boston was a World Series candidate from the beginning. Unlike Red Sox teams of the past that relied on the power of established veterans who were well-known at their positions, the 2018 team was young and versatile. Many of their pitchers switched between starting roles and relieving, and the signing the journeyman that is Steve Pearce proved valuable. Pearce, who is on his eighth team, was named the World Series MVP for his performance.
Both the Red Sox and the Dodgers will likely be World Series contenders next season, as the lasting impact their 2018 playoff runs is sure to carry over.