The Red Sox have defeated the Dodgers in the 2018 World Series to claim their fourth championship in just 15 years!
Steve Pearce was named the Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player, thanks to his contributions to Boston’s defeat of Los Angeles in just five games.
The highly anticipated series, which pitted two of the most popular franchises in all of sports against each other, started with the powerful Red Sox taking two straight games at home. While the Dodgers seemed to keep the score moderately close throughout both games, the Sox opened up leads aided by managerial mistakes by Los Angeles.
In the first two games, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts kept the team’s four leading hitters out of the starting lineup, the only time this has happened in World Series history. The Sox were also able to capitalize on questionable pitching changes by Roberts, especially when subbing in pitcher Ryan Madson, who let multiple base runners score when taking the mound.
When the series went back to Southern California, the Dodgers were able to take game 3 in what was the longest match-up in series history, clocking in at 18 innings, or seven hours and 20 minutes.
The last time the two franchises had faced each other in the World Series was way back in 1916, when Babe Ruth was in Boston and the Dodgers were known as the Brooklyn Robins, and both teams were riding a wave of momentum before their match-up 102 years in the making.
Los Angeles came off a Game 7 win against the Milwaukee Brewers, while Boston eliminated last year’s champions, Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros, in just five games. There was some controversy in both series.
During Game 3 of their series against the Brewers, the Dodgers’ Manny Machado was called a “dirty player” after he seemed to purposely kick the back of Jesus Aguilar’s foot after reaching first base. Machado was criticized by many baseball fans online and was showered with boos when the team returned to Milwaukee. Boston fans, who have their own history with Machado, were relentless whenever he was on the field.
In Game 4 of Boston’s series against the Astros, Houston’s Jose Altuve hit the ball to the wall in the right field while the Sox’s Mookie Betts went for the jump to catch it. But as he went up, Astros fans attempted to catch the ball too, and it appeared they may have bumped into Bett’s glove and prevented from making the catch.
Replays showed Betts may not have caught the ball regardless of the fans interfering, but even so, crew chief Joe West called Altuve out. With someone already on base, the home run would have given the Astros two runs. Boston ended up winning the game 8-6.
The Red Sox came into the postseason with 108 wins for the best record in the MLB and then went on to defeat the 100-win New York Yankees and the 103-win Astros in the postseason.
The Dodgers went into the Fall Classic hoping to end a 30-year championship drought — their last World Series win was in 1988 — while the Sox aimed for their first championship since 2013.
A year ago, Los Angeles reached their first World Series in 29 years, and took the Astros to seven games before losing in front of their home crowd. This season, the Dodgers had a streaky start to the year but made mid-season trades that gave them added depth.
Though the championship has been elusive, the Dodgers had improved each of their last three seasons, having lost in the NLDS, the NLCS, and the World Series.
Now with the offseason officially underway, the Dodgers will have to weigh some pending changes to their roster.
Kershaw, widely thought as the best pitcher of his generation, can opt out of his contract with the Dodgers — the team that drafted him. The team has now lost two series in a row, so Kershaw, who is 31, may want to jump ship if he believes the team has run its course. It would be a dramatic loss for Los Angeles, and Kershaw has recently said he hasn’t made up his mind yet.