The Boston Red Sox have been crowned World Series Champions once again after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games.
The Boston Red Sox are World Series Champions, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games to capture their ninth title in franchise history.
Steve Pearce, who delivered some late lightning to spark a thrilling Game 4 comeback last night, didn’t wait long to do more damage. His two-run homer off Clayton Kershaw in the first inning would prove to be the winning runs. The journeyman wasn’t content with one home run though, taking Pedro Baez deep in the eighth inning to put the cherry on top of a series-clinching performance.
Pearce was the ring leader of the supporting cast that carried the Red Sox in this series. While the role players did most of the damage, their stars helped put on the finishing touches.
Mookie Betts broke out of a 0-for-13 slump with a sixth inning solo home run that gave the Red Sox a bit of breathing room. J.D. Martinez had been struggling since tweaking his ankle rounding second base early in the series but he found his power stroke in time to deliver another insurance run with a seventh inning homer.
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David Price‘s star power had faded a bit but it’s glowing as bright as ever after winning the biggest game of his career. The veteran lefty has been brilliant this postseason. He finished off the Houston Astros by beating Justin Verlander in the decisive game of the ALCS. Now he seals a World Series title by beating Kershaw. That makes Price the first pitcher in major league history to beat former Cy Young winners in the finale of a LCS and the World Series in the same season.
It’s almost hard to believe that Price entered this postseason with a reputation as a pitcher who couldn’t get the job done on the October stage. That narrative has been obliterated by a gem in Game 5 to seal the championship for Boston. Price won three of his starts during this postseason run, including two World Series games.
Price has impressed a few times this postseason but he saved the best for last. The lefty held the Dodgers to one run on three hits over seven innings. He came out for the eighth inning but was given the hook after allowing a leadoff walk.
Price won his start in Game 2, worked in relief during Game 3, was warming up in the bullpen near the end of Game 4 and came back to start Game 5 of three days rest. He’s the first pitcher to work into the eighth inning of a World Series game on three days rest since Josh Beckett in a series-clinching win over the New York Yankees in 2003.
The decision to start Price on short rest not only meant Chris Sale would be pushed back to a potential Game 6, it also allowed the Red Sox to use their ace out of the bullpen in Game 5. With Craig Kimbrel struggling under a heavy workload, manager Alex Cora called on Sale to close out the series-clinching game.
Sale did not disappoint, striking out the side in order to finish the game.
The Dodgers fall to 0-9 in their franchise history when trailing three games to one in a best-of-seven series. Their championship drought dating back to 1988 will extend to at least one more year. Don’t worry, Los Angeles. We in Boston know a little something about lengthy championship droughts. It gets better. Probably.
The Red Sox waited 86 years to celebrate a World Series championship before the 2004 team lifted the curse. Now the franchise has won four times this century, more than any club has won since 2000. The San Francisco Giants won three times between 2010-2014. Boston has now won four times in the last 15 years.
The Red Sox won a franchise record 108 games during the regular season behind a powerhouse offense and star-studded rotation. As dominant as they seemed for six months, we all knew this team would be judged on what they did in October. It’s now safe to say this team has lived up to this historic season by winning the World Series. Damage done.