by JACK MELANSON, News Editor
The 2018 Major League Baseball season came to a close last week as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers by a score of 5-1 in Game 5 of the best-of-seven World Series.
This was the fourth time in 14 years that the Red Sox ended their season on top and the ninth time in franchise history. The Boston club also stretched the Dodgers’ World Series drought to 30 seasons (1988), which is good for the eleventh-longest drought among current professional baseball teams.
Representing the National League in the last two World Series, the Dodgers have been unable to hoist the trophy in either appearance. In 2017, Los Angeles lost to the Houston Astros by the same 5-1 score in Game 7.
Boston entered the 2018 postseason with the League’s best regular season record of 108-54. However, their road to the World Series wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.
Boston’s first opponent was none other than the New York Yankees who, like the Red Sox, also had their fair share of victories throughout the course of the regular season (100-62).
After the Yankees found victory in just one game, the Red Sox punched their tickets to the American League Championship Series.
For some Yankee fans, like Manhattan College junior Mike Toomey, losing was simply a humbling experience.
“You learn more from failure than you do from victory,” said Toomey. “We are a young team that needs our stars like [Aaron] Judge and [Luis] Severino to gain experience. The Red Sox series was a very good thing. Losing in the fashion we did will ground our stars and get them ready to win next year as they play with a chip on their shoulder.”
Rounding off the 100-win club, the Astros entered October baseball with a record of 103-59. This was the first time that three teams from the same league had ever won 100 or more games in a single season.
Jackie Bradley Jr. collected nine RBIs throughout the series, a feat that has only been done twice in Red Sox history (11 by David Ortiz in ‘04 and 10 by Manny Ramirez ‘07). Bradley Jr. was named ALCS MVP.
“This is what we set out to do when we come to Spring Training,” Bradley Jr. told MLB.com. “And we battled, we’ve been battle tested, played against a lot of great ball teams. This is definitely a special moment.”
With Boston heading to the World Series, their next opponent in Los Angeles (92-71) stood to be the worst regular season team they played all postseason.
David Price was brilliant from the hill for the Red Sox.
“Price pitched Game 2, going six innings while allowing just two runs, picking up his second career postseason W as a starter and his first-ever World Series win to boot. That wasn’t enough for him: he told [Alex] Cora he was ready to go in Game 3 as a reliever if necessary, on one day’s rest — the travel day — and it turned out that yes, Price was necessary: he faced three batters, retiring two of them, to help the Red Sox bridge to Craig Kimbrel in a tie game,” Marc Normandin wrote after the Red Sox won the World Series on Oct. 28 in an article for SB Nation.
The article continued.
“[In Game 5, Price] allowed a leadoff homer to David Freese, but that was it: he allowed just four more baserunners total through seven innings of work, struck out five Dodgers, and walked away from the mound with the Sox leading 5-1,” wrote Normandin.
With that said, it was Steve Pearce, one of Boston’s two starting first baseman, who drove away in the World Series MVP Chevy Silverado.
“Traded from Toronto to the Red Sox in late June, Pearce delivered the key hits in two straight games against the Dodgers. On Saturday he launched a tying home run in the eighth inning, then added a three-run double in the ninth that sent Boston to a 9-6 win in Game 4,” read an ESPN article from Oct. 29. “Pearce, 35, got the Red Sox rolling in the clincher, connecting for a two-run homer off Clayton Kershaw in the first inning. He capped his October spree with a solo drive off Pedro Baez in the eighth.”
Boston’s season ended how they had hoped, but the offseason marks it’s on challenges. Both Boston and New York have big signing decisions to make, but it appears that the rivalry is once again in stride, making baseball more fun for everyone in the North East.