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Red Sox 2018 World Series Champions

   10-29-2018

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Adding to the collection of rings, the Boston Red Sox have won their ninth World Series title, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games.

After ending an 86-year-long drought without a championship in 2004, the Red Sox have since won an additional three championships – 2007, 2013 and 2018. They became the first team ever to win two World Series exactly a century apart – 1918 and 2018.

Under the first-year manager Alex Cora, Boston had the best regular season record, winning 108 games. The team entered the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the American League and defeated the division rival New York Yankees three games to one in the American League Division Series

Boston would then secure four more wins against the reigned World Series Champion Houston Astros in the Championship Series. Outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and his heroics throughout the series won him ALCS MVP honors. Though the speedy lefty had just three hits in five games against the Astros, he made them count. A three-run double in Game 2 gave the Red Sox the lead to go on and win 7-5, a grand slam in the eighth of Game 3 and a two-run homerun in Game 4 to once again give the Red Sox the lead was more than enough for him to deserve the honor.

Now four wins away from a World Series title, the Red Sox had homefield advantage to begin the Fall Classic.

After seizing the first two games at home (GM 1: 8-4; GM 2: 4-2), the stage was set for what would become a historic Game 3 in Los Angeles. Lasting seven hours and twenty minutes over 18-innings, Game 3 shattered the World Series record for longest game in history – in time and frames.

Finding his team down 1-0 in the eighth, Bradley Jr. stepped up to the plate and launched a solo shot to right to send the game to extra innings.

Despite the loss, Nathan Eovaldi came up huge for his team with his outstanding extra-innings relief performance. Entering the game in the 11th, the righty went an entire six innings, throwing a total of 97 pitches. Both teams scored a run in the 13th, but it was Max Muncy who led the Dodgers to a win with a walk-off homerun, avoiding a daunting 3-0 series deficit.

Winning the next two games at Dodgers Stadium, Boston won its fourth World Series title in the last 15 years.

With its talented and often lethal lineup consisting of J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, it was veteran Steve Pearce hoisting the World Series MVP trophy.

In those five games, Pearce hit .333 and totaled 8 RBIs on four hits – a double and three homeruns. He hit the game-tying home run in the eighth of Game 4 and a three-run double to secure the win. In the first inning of Game 5, Pearce launched a two-run homerun in the first inning to give Boston the lead, one they would not relinquish.

An 11-year major league veteran, Pearce cemented his name in multiple record books following his phenomenal World Series performance.

He became only the second midseason acquisition to win World Series MVP, alongside Donn Clendenon who completed the feat with the 1969 Mets. Pearce is also the first Series MVP to play in just 50 or fewer regular season games with his team. He joins Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth as the only three players to have back-to-back World Series games with a homerun and three RBIs. He is also only the third player in MLB history age 35 and older to have hit two home runs in a single World Series game. The other two are Babe Ruth and Ted Kluszewski.

Though he did not begin the 2018 season with the Red Sox, he began his journey throughout the Major Leagues with them. Although he did not sign, Pearce was drafted by the Red Sox in 2004 in the 10th round. Since then, he has donned the uniform of each AL East team, alongside the time he spent with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Minnesota Twins. Throughout his career, Pearce has experienced free agency, claimed off waivers as well as having been traded twice. He has only had two seasons where he recorded 300+ at-bats.

With the additional 11 wins in the postseason, Boston’s 119 wins is third among most wins throughout an entire season. The feat only trails behind the 1998 Yankees who won 125 games and the 2001 Mariners who totaled 120. The 2018 Red Sox became the 13th team in history during the postseason era to win the World Series while clinching the best regular season record in baseball.

 

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