They didn’t squeak by, they dominated. The Red Sox pounded the competition during the 2018 regular season and then decisively won each postseason round. In the end, the Red Sox stand alone, for the ninth time in club history, as the World Champions of baseball.
The Sox have now won the World Series in each of their last four trips to the Fall Classic making them just the fourth team to achieve as many as nine championships in their history. Moreover, Boston has now won four of their nine clinching World Series games on the road, including 2007 at Colorado, 2004 at St. Louis and 1915 at Philadelphia.
The Dodgers’ fate was sealed by a dominating Game 5 performance from Red Sox starter David Price, who worked 7.0 IP and allowed just one run on three hits. Price was followed with a perfect inning of work for Joe Kelly. And then in the ninth, who better than Boston ace Chris Sale to nail down a championship with three straight strikeouts.
Price became just the fifth player in major league history to pitch at least 6.0 innings and allow three hits-or-fewer in three consecutive postseason starts, joining Jon Matlack (1973), Mike Mussina (1997), Kevin Brown (1998) and Clayton Kershaw (2013). Price finished the Fall Classic with 10 total strikeouts and a 1.98 overall ERA, allowing just three earned runs on six total hits to become the first pitcher to work at least 13.2 IP while allowing fewer than seven hits in a single Fall Classic since Hall of Famer John Smoltz in 1996.
For Price it was a postseason redemption after so many rough October outings. “My confidence was never altered through however many seasons I’ve been to the playoffs, however many times I’ve failed in October, however many times I failed,” Price said after the game. “To be able to come through on this stage and in October for myself and for my teammates, I know I can do it now. And it’s always a good feeling to have.”
Pearce is MVP
Steve Pearce, not content with getting the Sox on the board early with a first inning, two-run blast, added a second home run in the top of the eighth. Pearce became the fifth player in Red Sox history with a multi-homer World Series game, joining Rico Petrocelli (1967), Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski (1967) and Harry Hooper (1915), as well as Patsy Dougherty (1903).
Pearce, who was named Series MVP after the game, also became the fifth player in club history with three home runs in a single World Series, joining Dwight Evans (3), Larry Gardner (3), David Ortiz (3) and Yastrzemski (3).
Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez contributed a home run apiece in the win making Sunday’s game the fifth four-homer game for the Red Sox in any postseason game, and the first since the second game of the 2008 American League Championship Series.
Manager Alex Cora, so calm and focused throughout the season, is the seventh different manager to lead the Red Sox to a World Championship. Cora is just the fifth rookie manager in baseball history to win the World Series, joining Bucky Harris (1924 Senators), Eddie Dyer (1946 Cardinals), Ralph Houk (1961 Yankees) and Bob Brenly (2001 Diamondbacks).
Cora, who has won the Series as a player with Boston in 2007, as the Astros bench coach last season and now, as a manager, said this was best of all. “To be able to, first of all, convince them to give me a chance to manage. That was hard work,” Cora said. “And then to see these guys compete on a nightly basis and finally win it,…at the end, obviously they decide games and what they did was amazing, very proud of them.”
The City of Boston will welcome the champion Red Sox back home with a Duck Boat parade on Wednesday.