Boston Red Sox win the World Series in Game 5 with pitching gem from David Price
The bell tolled for the 2018 Dodgers at 8:17 p.m. on Sunday, as Manny Machado made the final, futile swing of the season in Game 5 of the World Series, a 5-1 defeat by the Boston Red Sox that lacked the drama and turmoil of the previous night. The anti-climax still stung. Despite looking feeble for the majority of the Fall Classic, the team finished three victories shy of the championship which has eluded Los Angeles since 1988.
The drought reached its 30th year in dispiriting fashion. The Dodgers spent a summer with their flaws hiding in plain sight. The group overcame them to collective their second consecutive National League pennant. Then, across 54 innings with the Red Sox, the team saw itself torn apart from within and without. They made mistakes and paid for them. They failed to execute, and saw their opponents romp inside their own ballpark, which teemed with Red Sox fans by Sunday’s conclusion.
The defeat ushered in a winter of uncertainty. Manager Dave Roberts does not have a guaranteed contract for 2019. He exposed himself to criticism after questionable decisions in this series, including an over-reliance on fading reliever Ryan Madson. Clayton Kershaw can depart in free agency. He took two losses in these five games.
Kershaw surrendered three home runs across seven innings. He was charged with four runs. The ballpark hushed after he served up a first-inning blast. The atmosphere mutated from there. Called into relief in the eighth, Pedro Baez yielded a homer of his own.
Red tide in Blue Heaven
World Series Game 4 | Red Sox 9 – Dodgers 6
As Dave Roberts journeyed from the bench to the mound Saturday night, the fans in Dodger Stadium started to boo. The closer the manager moved to the mound, the louder the boos became.
The audience knew something Roberts didn’t: He was making a mistake by removing Rich Hill from the game.
Call it a historic collapse. Call it a systematic breakdown. Call it the early onset of winter. All apply, yet none precisely capture the bitterness of the fourth game of the World Series, an 9-6 defeat to the Boston Red Sox, when the Dodgers stood on the verge of tying this series and let the opportunity slip through their collective fingers.
The Dodgers bullpen implodes and lets 4-0 lead slip away in 9-6 World Series Game 4 loss to Red Sox
6th inning surge
World Series Game 3 | Dodgers 3 — Red Sox 2
The joyous throng gathered around home plate at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, seven hours and 20 minutes after this monstrosity of a baseball game had begun. Never before had a World Series game lasted this long. Never before had a playoff game lasted this long. Never before had the Dodgers experienced a victory quite like their 3-2 walkoff over the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the World Series, an 18-inning agony that ended with sweet relief when Max Muncy launched a solo home run.
The Dodgers crowded the plate as Muncy rounded the bases. Dodger Stadium teetered with delirium. Muncy disappeared inside the throng, having taken Boston pitcher Nathan Eovaldi deep and perhaps tilted the balance of this series. The Dodgers still trail, 2-1, after Game 3. But the cost of Boston’s pitching decisions may last beyond the initial marathon.
Out at home
The longest game
World Series Game 2 | Red Sox 4 Dodgers 2
Bullied for the second game in a row at Fenway Park, the Dodgers will return to Los Angeles on Thursday with their season in jeopardy of ending this weekend at Dodger Stadium. After a 4-2 defeat in Game 2 of the World Series, the Dodgers trail by two games and have little immediate reason for optimism.
The high-flying offense has yet to materialize. Their starting pitchers have yet to record an out in the sixth inning. Their bullpen has yet to find a mess they can clean up. Ryan Madson played a pivotal role for the second night in a row, handing back the lead by allowing three inherited runners to score in the fifth inning.
The bats were colder than the climate Wednesday. After a fourth-inning flurry, the hitters produced nothing against Boston starter David Price and the relievers who replaced him after the sixth inning. The Dodgers finished the night on an 0-for-16 skid. The group compiled three hits and struck out eight times, whimpering through the finish line after a go-ahead single by Yasiel Puig in the fourth inning.
The pitching duel
The Dodgers didn’t generate a baserunner after Yasiel’s Puig floated a two-out RBI single to center field to give them a 2-1 edge. Price retired the final seven batters he faced, continuing his dismissal of the playoff terrors that had haunted him for so many Octobers before this one. Joe Kelly and Nathan Eovaldi, each featuring 100-mph fastballs, tossed clean innings. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth and completed Boston’s 16-batter cruise through the Dodgers lineup in a 4-2 win.
The Dodgers mustered three hits and three walks in all. They trail 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.
World Series Game 1 | Red Sox 8 Dodgers 4
In the days leading up to Game 1, some Dodgers joked about how they would enjoy being treated like an underdog. That was before they absorbed the clout of their opponent in an 8-4 loss on Tuesday at Fenway Park. Boston met every Dodgers’ action with a more forceful reaction.
When the Dodgers bruised the ace of the Red Sox, Boston answered by taxing Clayton Kershaw for five runs. Boston pounced on every opening, burst through every sliver of space. When manager Dave Roberts inserted Alex Wood as a reliever in the seventh inning, Red Sox manager Alex Cora countered with pinch-hitter Eduardo Nunez. The subsequent three-run homer from Nunez robbed the final two innings of any drama.
The Red Sox converted extra outs into runs, and capitalized on a strategic misfire by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. When Roberts inserted Alex Wood as a reliever in the seventh inning, Red Sox manager Alex Cora countered with pinch-hitter Eduardo Nunez. The subsequent three-run homer from Nunez robbed the final two innings of any drama.
Up the middle
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