World Series Game 4: Five defining moments from the Red Sox 9-6 win

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

The Boston Red Sox offense disappeared for the first 24 innings in Los Angeles, but it bounced back in a big way to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-6 in Game 4 of the World Series.

No one really knew what to expect from either team following the chaos in Game 3. The longest postseason game in MLB history left both teams tired and searching for fresh arms. The Dodgers entered in better shape after the Red Sox used previously scheduled Game 4 starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi in relief, but none of that really mattered once Boston’s offense got rolling.

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With the win, the Red Sox take a 3-1 series lead and are now one win away from claiming the franchise’s ninth World Series title. They’ll have a chance to wrap things up in Game 5 on Sunday evening.

Game 5 was expected to feature a rematch of the series opener with Chris Sale taking the ball against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. Red Sox manager Alex Cora, however, has decided to swap in David Price.

Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce follows through on his bases-clearing double in World Series Game 4. (Getty Images)
Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce follows through on his bases-clearing double in World Series Game 4. (Getty Images)

Steve Pearce comes through … twice

It hasn’t been the usual suspects for the Red Sox. But they’ll take the offense anywhere they can get it. On Friday, it was Jackie Bradley Jr., who delivered an eighth-inning, game-tying home run against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. On Saturday, it was Steve Pearce.

But that was just the start of Pearce’s big finish in Game 4.

The veteran first baseman had an even bigger moment in the ninth inning, unloading the bases with a two-out double to seal the Red Sox victory.

The 35-year-old veteran has proven to be one of the more underrated trade deadline acquisitions. The Red Sox got him from the Blue Jays on July 28, and have seen him come through with numerous big hits since. None bigger, obviously, than either of Game 4’s.

He’s well on his way to folklore status in Boston.

Rafael Devers was a hero too

Rafael Devers only turned 22 on the same day as Game 2, yet he’s already put together a pretty amazing postseason résumé. That continued on Saturday as the Red Sox third baseman came through with his biggest hit yet — an RBI single that plated the go-ahead run in the ninth inning.

Brock Holt started the mini-rally by chopping a double perfectly down the left-field line. Devers then followed with a clean single against Dylan Floro. Devers now has 14 RBI in 14 career postseason games.

Cody Bellinger races down the line to avoid a big double play. (Getty Images)
Cody Bellinger races down the line to avoid a big double play. (Getty Images)

The double play that wasn’t

With both offenses struggling to get on track, the Dodgers had to find another creative way to score a run. In Game 3, the tying run scored on an inexplicable Ian Kinsler throwing error in the 13th inning. In Game 4, the game’s first run scored on a near 3-2-3 double play that turned into an error.

Boston catcher Christian Vasquez did a good job to touch home plate despite a less than perfect throw. His own throw to first base though wasn’t in time to beat Cody Bellinger, and it ended up going down the line allowing Justin Turner to race around from second base.

It was a big moment for two reasons. First, because a run scored. Second, because it kept the inning alive for Yasiel Puig’s dramatic three-run home run.

Ryan Madson happened … again

Talk about a rough World Series. Dodgers reliever Ryan Madson is experiencing one of the roughest we’ve seen for a relief pitcher.

Called on again to escape a seventh inning jam, Madson instead stoked the fire by allowing a three-run home run to Boston’s Mitch Moreland. The home run continued a streak that no reliever wants.

Ideally, manager Dave Roberts could scale back Madson’s usage and give him a game or two to reset. There’s no time for that in the World Series though. At least not this one. All hands on deck, even the hands that are struggling.

Rich Hill vs. Eduardo Rodriguez

Despite not being officially named their respective team’s starting pitcher until three hours before game time, both Rich Hill and Eduardo Rodriguez were outstanding early in Game 4. Both started with five scoreless frames, before the Dodgers finally broke through against Rodriguez in the sixth.

A couple of the more interesting moments during that time actually happened with Rodriguez at the plate. Keep in mind now that Rodriguez only has 14 career plate appearances. We knew he’d be over matched, but he did manage to reach base once. Unfortunately, it came as being the first pitcher to be hit by a pitch in a World Series game in 50 years.

The next time up, he was looking to lay down a sacrifice bunt for only the second time in his career. Hill was having none of that though.

Totally not fair. And that’s why we loved it.

Rodriguez won both matchups on the pitching side, getting Hill to ground out twice.

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