Game 1: Red Sox 8 Dodgers 4
A much-anticipated battle between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers kicked off at Fenway Park, as the 115th installment of the fall classic started off no different than every baseball fan expected, with fireworks. Ace pitchers Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw took the hill for their respective teams, hoping to start off the series on the right foot by snagging a game one victory. The Red Sox opened up the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, as Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi ripped a single into the outfield, allowing fellow outfielder Mookie Betts to score easily. Benintendi finished game one with an impressive four for five line. Boston designated hitter J.D. Martinez came up after Benintendi and promptly singled him in for another Boston score. Dodgers’ outfielder and World Series veteran Matt Kemp answered back for the Dodgers in the top of the second inning, ripping a solo home run off Sale to get the Dodgers back into the game. L.A. star shortstop Manny Machado did his share for the Dodgers, finishing game one with three RBI’s. Both Sale and Kershaw struggled in this game one battle, as both were pulled from the mound before the end of the fifth inning. Five strong relief innings from six different Boston pitchers allowed the boys from Beantown to hang on to a hard-earned victory, as Boston cruised to an 8-4 victory going into game two.
Game 2: Red Sox: 4 Dodgers: 2
Following an impressive team performance in game one, Boston’s pitching rotation turned to another strong lefty, David Price, and Los Angeles countered with one of their own in southpaw Hyun Jin Ryu. Boston began the scoring in the bottom of the second inning, when veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler smacked a single into left field, scoring shortstop Xander Bogaerts. The Dodgers didn’t answer until the top of the fourth inning, when Kemp hit a sacrifice fly to score Dodger utility player Chris Taylor, tying the game at one all. Right fielder Yasiel Puig put the Dodgers on top following Kemp’s sacrifice fly, singling Machado and giving the Dodgers their first lead of the Fall Classic. Finally, in the fifth inning, Boston was able to scrape across a run when first baseman Steve Pearce drew a bases loaded walk to score catcher Christian Vasquez. A two-run single by Martinez allowed Boston to break open the lead to a 4-2 score. Price showed Boston how clutch he can truly be in big games, going six strong innings while allowing three hits, two runs and striking out five. Three perfect innings by relievers Joe Kelly, Nate Eovaldi and Craig Kimbrel allowed Boston to, once again, cruise to a 4-2 victory, breaking open the series to a 2-0 lead heading back to LA.
Game 3: Red Sox: 2 Dodgers: 3
The longest game in postseason history gave us ups, downs, surprises, but in the end, an all-around strong effort by both ball clubs. Some of the greatest performances of all time were showcased in this game, but in the end, Dodgers’ first baseman Max Muncy ended the seven hour game with an 18th inning home run off Boston’s Eovaldi. Forgotten due to giving up the game ending run, is that Eovaldi gave us quite possibly the greatest pitching performance of all time, pitching six scoreless relief innings for the Beantown Bombers. 97 pitches later, the Dodgers took home the win, but the Sox had fought a prodigious amount of fight, as many players said that Eovaldi’s performance was the greatest thing they had ever seen from a ball player. 18 different pitchers (nine from each team) later, the game had ended and the Dodgers had finally sparked a fire underneath themselves in a hope to come back and do the same thing in game four.
Game 4: Red Sox: 9 Dodgers: 6
After a hard-fought game ended in defeat for the Sox, they came out with force in game four and cruised easily to a 9-6 victory over the Dodgers on their home field. Boston turned to 24-year-old pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez to put them within one game of a World Series title, and he did not disappoint. Although “E-Rod” only worked a little over five innings while allowing four runs, he was able to keep his fellow teammates within striking distance, and once again, they came up big in clutch situations. A five run ninth inning propelled the Sox to a 9-4 lead, but as closer Kimbrel came in for the bottom half of the inning, the Dodgers hopes were getting smaller and smaller. Utility player Enrique Hernandez hit a two-run home run off Kimbrel in the bottom of the ninth, closing the gap to 9-6. Kimbrel settled down after this escapade, and the Sox were able to hold on to a 9-6 victory, and now, the boys from Boston were one win away from a championship.
Game 5: Red Sox: 5 Dodgers: 1
To the surprise of baseball fans everywhere, Red Sox’ skipper Alex Cora began game five with Price on the mound to push them to their fourth world series this century, while Los Angeles countered with their stud pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Boston didn’t hesitate to get the scoring going, and in the top of the first inning, with one man on base, Pearce crushed a homerun to left field, and the Beantown Bombers didn’t look back. With home runs by Martinez, Betts, and another by Pearce, combined with another great pitching performance by David Price, Boston had their foot on the gas all game and did not let up. As the ninth inning came around, fans watching the game saw Boston stud pitcher Sale warming up in the Red Sox bullpen. A surprise move by Alex Cora, sending Sale into the game, turned out to be a great one. Sale came in for the bottom half of the inning, and made quick work of Dodgers’ batters Justin Turner and Hernandez, leading to Machado stepping into the batter’s box. Boston fans rejoiced after Sale struck Machado out with a slider low and inside. The Red Sox dugout and bullpen stormed onto the field, running to the mound to celebrate with Sale. A fourth championship this century and first since 2013, Boston won this series with a combination of timely hitting, clutch pitching and amazing coaching from their staff. Veteran Steve Pearce was awarded the most valuable player award after he clubbed two home runs in game five.