The Boston Red Sox entered Dodger Stadium leading the series 3-1. One win would secure the Dodgers’ fate, sending the Red Sox into a frenzy. However, with Clayton Kershaw pitching anything could’ve happened, that also stood for the unpredictable David Price.
Key Game Five moments
To begin the first inning, Kershaw made light work of Mookie Betts. Next up was Andrew Benintendi who singled on a drive past Max Muncy. With one on base, World Series MVP front-runner Steve Pearce stepped up to the plate. Swinging at the first pitch, Pearce nailed the ball into the crowd for a two-run home run and the Red Sox took the lead.
Price then took to the mound. As ever, toying with the emotions of the Red Sox faithful. David Freese, the lead-off hitter and notable clutch postseason player, nailed a home run to bring the Dodgers within one run. Following a nervy start, Price was able to recover and eventually struck out Manny Machado to end the inning.
Eight strikeouts later for Kershaw, David Price took to the mound for the bottom of the third. On what was a routine fly ball from David Freese, J.D. Martinez lost sight of its trajectory in the twilight of the Los Angeles sky, with Freese reaching third base due to the lucky break. He would, however, recover from the mistake retiring the side with the next at-bat.
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) October 29, 2018
After several scoreless innings, Betts capitalised on a low pitch in the 6th, rocketing the ball into the stands. His solo homer extended the Red Sox lead to 3-1.
With the Dodgers failing to provide any fight back, J.D. Martinez connected on a 90 mph pitch to straightaway centre field. The Red Sox led in the top of the 7th 4-1.
To end the 7th, both Rafael Devers and Brock Holt were on base, but Muncy secured the inning after Price grounded into a force out. Kershaw was retired in what could be his last performance ever in a Dodgers jersey.
Another three short outs and it was time for Steve Pearce to smash another homer, this time off a pitch from reliever in Pedro Baez. The Sox led 5-1 in the 8th.
After a fantastic pitching display from Price he was brought out of the game in the top of the 8th with Joe Kelly taking over. Kelly proceeded to strikeout the side.
Capping off an incredible season
With a franchise record 108 win season, the Boston Red Sox always looked poised to win the World Series. Yet, the doubters were out in full force from the get-go. They said that Betts couldn’t perform on the big stage, they claimed that the Sox’s pitching wasn’t good enough to win a World Series and that as a team, they couldn’t rely on just a handful of star players. And amidst all of that doubt, the Red Sox did it.
The irony of it all begins with Betts. A statistical postseason under-performer, Betts was able to silence his critics by nailing a crucial home run in the game-clinching victory. J.D. Martinez, who in my estimations is the best hitter in the league, did what he does best nailing another home run, his third in the postseason.
Steve Pearce provided the story of the series, with two further home runs in this game, which increases his postseason tally to four. Acquired from the Blue Jays back in late June, the first baseman was named the MVP of the series.
Finally, the conclusion. David Price, a man who many feared could hinder, rather than help the Sox, pitched seven innings allowing just three hits and one earned run. The closing statement from the Sox being that even their greatest weakness (pitching) was simply not enough to stop this incredible team, who will go down in the history books as one of the best to ever grace the field.
I would also like to point out that Alex Cora demonstrated his tactical genius and was able to bridge the pitching dilemmas amongst the roster. He has solidified himself as the next great Red Sox manager, but more importantly, he will be credited for his brilliance. And rightly so.
The Boston Red Sox are your 2018 World Series Champions, and as owner John Henry calls them: “The Greatest Red Sox team ever.”