In front of a star-studded crowd that included the likes of Kobe Bryant, Lil Wayne and Jimmy Kimmel, the Boston Red Sox made history by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 5 on Oct. 29, securing their fifth World Series title and capping off a 108-win season.
Behind star pitcher Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers were well-equipped to contend with the Red Sox. Combining their dominant pitching with offensive powerhouses like Yasiel Puig, Cody Bellinger, and Justin Turner, the Dodgers lineup seemed poised to challenge the eventual champions. However, the Dodgers could not find their way past the Red Sox, winning only one contest in the series — an 18-inning thriller in Game 3.
Baseball has a way of changing very quickly for teams, especially when it comes to injuries and strengths. A lot of luck plays into each game, but in a series of seven games, skill plays a much larger role. So when the Red Sox won each of their playoff series by two or more games, chance was thrown out of question. A roster stacked with players including David Price, Chris Sale, J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts fueled one of the most impressive baseball seasons in history. Each player took charge this season to catapult the Red Sox to the ultimate achievement — a World Series.
In Game 5, manager Alex Cora picked Price to start at pitcher over Sale, a 2018 Cy Young Award favorite — a decision that paid off. After letting up a home run on his first pitch, Price tossed eight shutout innings, securing the Red Sox’s victory. Price’s dominant performance was the final, and perhaps most important, example of the comebacks that drove the Red Sox’s playoff run. In Game 4, the Red Sox came back from a four run deficit and put up nine runs in the final three innings.
Under Cora, the Red Sox are beginning to create a dynasty, brushing aside rivals and doing so with grace and strides. Cora helped fuel the success of this team. As Pitcher Nathan Eovaldi told ESPN’s Tim Keown, “ Everything he did worked. He just had a way of making you believe.”
Even with low Vegas odds, the Red Sox managed to win it all for the fourth time in the 21st century. With this championship, Boston now has a total of 11 titles in the four major sports of baseball, basketball, football, and hockey since 2000. But this Red Sox team is arguably the most special and successful. The combined talent of the club was necessary for the absolute domination of modern-day major league baseball. With the Houston Astros coming back next season full force without injuries, it will be interesting to see whether they contend with this stellar Boston squad and take back the throne upon which the Red Sox have perched themselves.