For the fourth time in 14 years, the Boston Red Sox are World Series Champions.
With an opportunity to close out the Series in five games, the Red Sox wasted no time in setting the tone. After Andrew Benintendi reached base on a 0-2 count, game four hero, Steve Pearce brought him home with a thunderous home run off of Clayton Kershaw. Then, David Price continued his redemption tour as he turned in a stellar seven-inning performance on the mound to lead the Red Sox to a 5-1 win and a 4-1 series victory. Pearce took home World Series MVP honors.
You couldn’t have written the Price story any better. A lightning rod for criticism throughout his tenure with the Red Sox, he all but shut the door on that chapter and cemented himself among the very best in Boston sports lore. Over Price’s seven innings, he allowed just one run on three hits and struck out five batters. His only blemish was a leadoff home run to David Freese in the top of the first. He retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced and picked up his second win of the World Series. His third this postseason.
The Red Sox gave Price a bit of breathing room with solo home runs from Mookie Betts and J.D Martinez in the sixth and seventh innings. Pearce’s second home run of the game gave the Red Sox a 5-1 lead. A lead that proved to be too much for the Dodgers to overcome.
Joe Kelly came in to for the eight and struck out all three batters he faced. And then, Sale came in to close the game and did the exact same thing. The final out came on a swing and a miss from Manny Machado. All in all, Red Sox pitchers retired 20 of the last 21 batters they faced.
Coming into the season, expectations were high for the Red Sox and rookie manager Alex Cora. They had won the division in both 2016 and 2017 and added slugger J.D. Martinez to a team that desperately needed a slugger. In addition, they returned a pitching staff that featured two former Cy Young award winners in Price and Rick Porcello and, of course, lefty-ace Chris Sale.
They responded by winning a franchise-record 108 games. They were the best team from the start of the season and until the very end as they turned away the 100-win Yankees and the 103-win Astros in the ALDS and ALCS respectively. Then, of course, they dispatched the Dodgers in just five games. Their only loss? An 18-inning marathon in game three.
Since breaking the curse in 2004, the Red Sox have won the World Series in 2007, 2013 and now in 2018. They ended the year going 119-57. They had the best record in spring training. They were the best team in the regular season. And they dominated through the postseason.
The best part? They look like a team who isn’t going away any time soon.