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It only took the Boston Red Sox 5 games to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the best-of-7 series. The American league champions had been maintaining their excellent regular season form throughout the postseason, with the World Series being no exception. Although the series didn’t need all seven possible games to be decided, it wasn’t without its highlights.
Game 1 at Boston saw a contender for the best pitching matchup in World Series history, with Boston’s Chris Sale (fully recovered from a belly button piercing infection) facing off against LA’s Clayton Kershaw. In reality, this game did not turn out to be the low scoring pitchers duel it initially promised to be, with both starters being finished after only 4 innings. The game was swung in Boston’s favour by a 7th inning 3 run home run to left field by Eduardo Nunez, sealing an 8-4 Red Sox win.
Game 2 saw 6 strong innings of work from Red Sox starter David Price who was opposed by Hyun-Jin Ryu. Price allowed just three hits and two runs while striking out 5, a much stronger performance than his counterpart. Designated Hitter JD Martinez’s 2 run single in the bottom of the 5 gave Boston a 4-2 lead that they would hold on to for the win.
The series moved to Los Angeles for the next 3 games and the Dodgers hoped that having home field advantage would spark them to life in time to save the series. Game 3 proved to be historic as it became the longest game in World Series history. The 18 inning, 7 hour and 20 minute affair stretched both teams to the absolute limits. The two teams combined to use 46 out of 50 available players. Pitching was especially stretched, as Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi threw 97 pitches in relief. Unfortunately pitch 97 proved to be his last in the bottom of the 18th inning, as breakout star Max Muncy crushed a 90mph cutter to left field to give the Dodgers their first and only win of the series 3-2.
Game 4 had the Dodgers looking to stay hot early on, taking a 4 run lead in the 7th inning, mainly due to a no-doubt home run from Yasiel Puig, along with a signature bat flip as he watched the ball disappear into the crowd. However, the lead wouldn’t last for LA, mainly due to the work of Steve Pearce. Pearce homered in the 8th inning to tie the game at 4 and the hit a double in the 9th to score 3. Boston’s bullpen would then squash a late LA rally for the 9-6 win.
Game 5 would end the series, with Boston winning comfortably 5-1. Steve Pearce was once again crucial, hitting two home runs and driving in 3 runs.
This show of total domination showed that the 2018 Boston Red Sox may well be one of the best teams in modern history. Their 108 regular season wins were the most in franchise history, setting them up well for their 9th World Series. Steve Pearce’s efforts offensively were enough to win him Most Valuable Player honours as his 3 home runs, 8 RBI and .500 OBP were good enough to lead all players. This is a team that looks set up to dominate for many years to come.