If asked who would close out the clinching game of the World Series for the Red Sox, almost everybody would have answered Craig Kimbrel. If told that Chris Sale would be the one closing it out, almost everybody would have expected Sale to have been finishing out a complete game effort. In a sign of the times, Sale was called on in a closing role with the Red Sox leading the Dodgers 5-1 in the ninth inning of Game 5. He responded by striking out the side, clinching the 2018 World Series for the Red Sox.
Sale got leadoff batter Justin Turner on a 0-2 slider in the dirt, then Enrique Hernández to chase at another slider for the second out. Fittingly, Manny Machado came up to the plate representing the Dodgers’ last hope. Machado fell behind 0-2 then chased a 1-2 slider that was breaking towards his ankles. Catcher Christian Vázquez rushed towards Sale, leaping into the lefty’s arms in celebration as the Boston dugout spilled out onto the field.