By Emma Moloney
The Boston Red Sox dominated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2018 World Series, winning 4 games to 1. KCOU Sports’ Emma Moloney took an in-depth look at games 3, 4 and 5 over the weekend that set it up.
After jumping out ahead of the Dodgers two games to none, the Red Sox arrived at Dodger Stadium on Friday night hoping to clinch another victory in what was shaping up to be an easily won World Series.
However, after a battle lasting 7 hours and 20 minutes, Los Angeles defeated the Boston 3-2 in the longest World Series game in history despite giving up an early lead in the eighth and encountering a major defensive error in the thirteenth.
Boston starter Rick Porcello began the evening facing against the Dodgers offense, letting up an early solo home run to left fielder Joc Pederson in the bottom of the third. Following an impressive scoreless seven innings by Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler, Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. tied the game with a homer off of lockdown Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. The score remained 1-1 until the thirteenth inning when, in two very similar occurrences, each team scored again with the help of a throwing error. With the score still tied at 2-2, the two teams battled for an additional grueling five innings, the two teams combined utilizing an astounding eighteen pitchers. This marathon outing finally came to a close in the bottom of the eighteenth when Dodgers infielder Max Muncy hit a walk-off homer on Red Sox relief pitcher Nathan Eovaldi’s 97th pitch to secure Los Angeles’ first World Series win, ensuring that games would continue on into Sunday.
Returning back to Dodger Stadium on Saturday, both teams were eager to get game four underway, the Red Sox hoping to come back from their defeat the night before, and the Dodgers looking for a repeat victory that would even the record to two wins apiece.
The game began with a face off between two unwavering defenses. Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez and Los Angeles’ Rich Hill both pitched five scoreless innings. The script soon flipped as the Dodgers’ offense exploded in the bottom of the sixth, with a hit by pitch, double and intentional walk setting the stage for a three-run homer by Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig.
It gave Los Angeles a 4-0 advantage, but Boston wasn’t going down without a fight, and its offense answered back immediately, a three-run home run by pinch hitter Mitch Moreland in the seventh followed by a solo shot by first baseman Steve Pearce making the score 4-4 going into the ninth.
After heating up in the seventh and eighth innings, the Red Sox offense opened up on the Dodgers with a series of base hits. Following their sixth and final pitching change of the game, offensive star and Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce returned to the plate to hit a three-run double off of relief pitcher Kenta Maeda, later crossing the plate himself on a single by shortstop Xander Bogaerts to put the Red Sox ahead 9-4. Though they attempted to rally, scoring two additional runs off a two-run homer by left fielder Enrique Hernandez, the Red Sox ultimately took game four 9-6.
Unlike the night before, Sunday’s game began with offensive action early on from both teams. In the top of the first, following a single from left fielder Andrew Benintendi, the offensive star of game four, Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce, homered into left-center field, quickly putting Boston up 2-0. In the bottom of the first, Pearce’s homerun was answered by a deep shot into right-center field by Dodgers first baseman David Freese, making the score 2-1.
After this early offensive start, Boston pitcher David Price and Los Angeles starter Clayton Kershaw battled batters for seven innings each, halting any more offensive scoring until the top of the sixth when Red Sox center fielder and likl Mookie Betts homered into left field. Two additional solo homers, one from right fielder J.D. Martinez and yet another from first baseman Steve Pearce, put the Red Sox ahead of the Dodgers 5-1 going into the final inning.
With Boston fans on the edge of their seat, Chris Sale came onto close and threw three straight strikeouts to end the ninth and secure the 2018 World Series victory for the Red Sox. It’s the seventh in franchise history, and fourth in the past 14 years for the BoSox.
Edited by Garrett Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org