By MACKENZIE HARD
This past week showed the start of the 114th World Series played, as the series between the American League champion, the Boston Red Sox, and the National League champion, the Los Angeles Dodgers started. The match up was close with the Red Sox finishing their season with a 108-54 record and the Dodgers finishing up their season with a 92-71 record. This is the first time that the Red Sox have surpassed the 100-win mark since 1946.
Unlike the Red Sox, the Dodgers were in the World Series last year, making this their second consecutive appearance, after losing to the Houston Astros in 2017. The last time that these teams played one another was in the World Series in 1916, where the Red Sox won the series in five games.
At the end of the regular season, four players from the Red Sox were given All-Star status – Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Chris Sale, and Craig Kimbrel. Each of these players would hold promise for strategic plays during the World Series games.
During the first game on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at Fenway Park, the Red Sox struck in the first inning when Mookie Betts singled, stole second, and then scored on a hit by Andrew Benintendi, who also scored on a single by J.D. Martinez. Boston saw some benefit when the Dodgers’ first baseman David Freese missed a foul pop-up by Betts, while right fielder Yasiel Puig allowed Benintendi to advance to second base on a late throw to the plate.
By the second inning the score was tied up, but at the bottom of the third inning, left fielder Steve Pearce made a play that resulted in an inning-ending double play on the field that was then overturned by video review. The Red Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth, and scored the go-ahead run when Xander Bogaerts ground into a fielder’s choice. The game ended after nine innings with Boston taking away a four point game lead.
The second game on Wednesday was also at Fenway and featured another matchup of left-handed pitchers. Boston started David Price while Los Angeles started Hyun-jin Ryu. The Red Sox scored first, this time in the second inning when Bogaerts doubled and then scored on a single by Ian Kinsler. The Dodgers loaded the bases in the fourth inning and David Freese scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Kemp to tie the game. Both bullpens prevented more runs from scoring as the Red Sox won, 4-2, to take a two games to none lead. This was also the 100th postseason victory in Red Sox franchise history.
Game number three took place at Dodger Stadium and lasted for eighteen innings. The Dodgers scored first, from the first time in the series, when Joc Pederson homered in the third inning. Boston scored second in the eighth inning. Both teams scored again in the thirteenth inning. Following various errors, Dodgers Max Muncy hit a walk-off home run off Boston pitcher Nathan Eovaldi in the eighteenth inning to win it for the Dodgersers, 3-2. Eovaldi had just begun is seventh inning of relief.
At eighteen innings and seven hours and twenty minutes, this game became the longest World Series game by both innings and time, surpassing game three of the 2005 World Series, which lasted for five hours and forty one minutes, along with breaking the record in innings first set in the second game of the 1916 World Series, when the Red Sox and Dodgers played fourteen innings.
Game four saw a start from Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill who, at 38 years old, was the oldest player to start a World Series game since 2014. After having pitched in relief in game three, Boston pitcher, Eduardo Rodríguez became the sixth pitcher in history to start a World Series game with zero days rest. With no designated hitter, the Red Sox started an outfield of Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and J.D. Martinez.
The game was scoreless through the first five innings. In the bottom of the sixth, the Dodgers loaded the bases against Rodríguez and scored the game’s first run on a throwing error by Boston catcher Christian Vázquez. In the top of the seventh, Mitch Moreland hit a three-run pinch-hit home run off of reliever Ryan Madison to make it a one run game. Steve Pearce also hit a solo homer off Kenley Jansen in the eighth inning. In the top of the ninth, Brock Holt doubled off Dylan Floro and was driven in by a single by pinch-hitter Rafael Devers to give Boston their first lead of the game. The Red Sox loaded the bases against Floro and Alex Wood, and then Pearce doubled to right center off Kenta Maeda, scoring all three runs to put the Red Sox up 8-4. Another run was adding when Bogaerts drove in Pearce with a single.
Game five was scheduled to start at 5:15pm (PDT) at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California on Sunday, Oct. 28th. Los Angeles is also scheduled to become the first city to host an MLB, NFL, NHL, MLS, and NBA game all on one day. Clayton Kershaw will start for the Dodgers, while David Price will start for the Red Sox. During the final game of the World Series, both the Dodgers and Red Sox scored in the first inning. Boston scored in the top of the inning after a one out single by Andrew Benintendi, which Steve Pearce followed with a two-run home run. No one else scored until the sixth inning, when Mookie Betts hit a solo home run with one out and then J.D. Martinez hit a lead-off homer in the seventh inning to make the score 4-1 Boston.
Price pitched into the eighth inning, allowing only one run on three hits and two walks while sticking out five from the Dodgers. Joe Kelly and Chris Sale pitched the last two innings and both struck out – Sale getting Manny Machado to strike out on a pitch for the last out. This resulted in the Red Sox winning the game 5-1 and the series 4-1. Pearce won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award.
The win was felt across campus, as many students wore jerseys, hats, shirts, and sweatshirts all in supporting the Red Sox win on Monday. Freshman Riley Townson reacted to the win by saying, “This win feels great, it’s the first time that Boston has brought back a banner that was not the Patriots in like six years, so that’s really cool. This team from the beginning of the year, winning 108 games in the regular season, and they beat 200+ win teams in the postseason, so they are something special and are a lot of fun to watch.”