The Boston Red Sox have defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in their fifth World Series win since 2004
After a dominant playoff run, the Boston Red Sox took home their first World Series win since 2013. This season, the team amassed 108 wins and was the top team of the stacked American League East division. Their sworn rivals, the New York Yankees, won 100 games this year, which ordinarily would have easily gotten them the division crown, but only earned them a wild card spot. This just goes to show how historic this year’s Sox squad was.
The core of the 2018 team was built with an impressive balance of young, homegrown talent and intelligent free agent signings. These young players have developed into stars, the likes of which include names like Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley, Jr. Betts most notably broke out this year and became a clear MVP favorite for the American League. He led all of Major League Baseball in wins above replacement with 10.9, battling Mike Trout as the top five tool player in baseball. Additionally, the team made smart transactions before and during the season, adding J.D. Martinez to the roster this summer, and veterans like Ian Kinsler and Nathan Eovaldi midseason. They provided reinforcements and leadership to the team, propelling them toward a deep playoff run. J.D. Martinez, especially, thrived at Fenway Park, contending all season for the triple crown. He solidified himself as one of the most complete hitters in the sport, posting an eye-popping statline of .330/43/130 for the season.
Their hitting alone was not the sole reason for the Red Sox success. All season long, the pitching staff for the Sox was consistently dominant, mostly off of the work of perennial all-stars Chris Sale and David Price. That 1-2 combo combined with a stout bullpen gave the Red Sox the pitching weapons they needed to establish themselves as the MLB’s top team.
The series itself was pretty much a washout. The first two games took place at Fenway Park right here in Boston. Game one saw two of the game’s top pitchers facing off. The Red Sox sent out their dependable ace, Chris Sale, to face off against superstar Clayton Kershaw of Los Angeles. The Red Sox red hot lineup was eager to get out to a fast start. In the first inning, Mookie Betts singled, stole second and subsequently scored off of an Andrew Benintendi RBI. A J.D. Martinez single later in the inning brought home Benintendi. The Dodgers would eventually tie it up in the top of the third before losing the lead for good in the bottom of that same inning. The score of game one would eventually end 8-4. In game two, the Sox sent out David Price to face off against Dodgers phenom Hyun-jin Ryu. The Red Sox again scored first, this time in the second. The Dodgers would go out to their first series lead in the fourth inning, scoring two and going up 2-1, but three more Red Sox runs in the bottom of the fifth would negate that lead for good, ending the game at 4-2.
Game three of this world series will be talked about forever. It is already in the ranks as one of the best World Series games of all time. Los Angeles would score first in the bottom of the third and would not be matched until Boston scored one of their own in the eighth. After the ninth inning concluded, the score was still tied at 1-1, so the game advanced to extra innings. After Boston scored in the 13th inning, it seemed this marathon game would finally conclude, but L.A. would respond and tie the game in the bottom half of that inning. It took until the 18th inning for L.A. to finally walk off with the win. However, this was not the turning point the team had hoped for, as they would go on to lose games four and five, securing the series win for the Red Sox. After breaking the 86 year old curse of the Bambino in 2004, the Red Sox won the series again in 2007, 2010, 2013 and now 2018.