Posted on October 29, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
Since the start of the 2018 MLB season, the Boston Red Sox have looked like the best team in baseball, and now it’s official. The Red Sox won the 2018 World Series Sunday night with a 5-1 win over the Los Angeles. Dodgers. Boston won the series 4-1, needing just five games to assert their dominance over the Dodgers, just as they did during the ALCS against the Astros. It’s the second world championship for the franchise this decade and the fourth since the Red Sox broke their epic drought in 2004.
“Seeing all these grown men over there, just acting like kids, that’s what it’s all about,” said David Price, the winning pitcher in Game 5. “This is why I came to Boston.”
The performance of Price during the series was a catalyst for Boston’s success. He won both games he started, giving up just three runs over 13 innings. He also chipped in a couple outs out of the bullpen in between starts. Given his poor playoff history and a disastrous outing in the ALDS, there was uncertainty over whether or not the Red Sox could rely on him to come through in the postseason. In the end, he ended up being their most impactful starting pitcher during the postseason.
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The Boston bullpen also deserves a great deal of credit. Heading into the playoffs, the Red Sox bullpen was overshadowed by many of the other bullpens around the league. However, the likes of Joe Kelly, Ryan Brasier, and Matt Barnes were consistent and reliable every step of the way. That trio allowed just three earned runs over 28.2 innings during the playoffs. Closer Craig Kimbrel, despite some rocky moments, was six for six in save situations during the postseason.
Of course, it was Boston’s lineup that was the centerpiece of the team all season. The Red Sox were the best offensive team during the regular season, something that carried over into the playoffs. The club averaged six runs per game in their 14 postseason games, going 11-3. But it wasn’t always the team’s stars carrying them. The Red Sox consistently got big hits from their ancillary players.
In the end, it was utility man Steve Pearce who won World Series MVP. Pearce was acquired in a midseason trade that appeared fairly innocuous at the time. Even during the World Series, Pearce remained a part-time player, garnering just 12 at-bats. Of course, in those 12 at-bats, he contributed three home runs, a double, and eight RBIs.
“This is the greatest feeling of my life. When you’re a kid, this is where you want to be, and it’s happening right now,” Pearce said after being named MVP. “This is a great moment. I’m so glad I get to share it with everybody.”
After winning 108 games during the regular season and winning 11 of their 14 playoff games, there’s no doubt the Red Sox are fully deserving of the World Series crown. The only debate that’s left is where this year’s team ranks on the all-time list. Principal owner John Henry had no problem proclaiming the 2018 Red Sox as the best team in franchise history. The players had no problem agreeing with him.
“We’re not cocky,” said shortstop Xander Bogaerts, “but we know who we are. We have one of the best teams (in history), especially in Red Sox history.”