The Boston Red Sox are World Series champions once again.
Behind a brilliant pitching performance from David Price and a power surge from Steve Pearce, the Red Sox finished off the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 5-1 victory in Game 5 of the World Series. In doing so, Boston earned its fourth championship in the last 15 seasons and its ninth overall in franchise history.
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The Red Sox continuously showed that their franchise-record 108 wins during the regular season were no fluke. They had an answer for everything that was thrown at them in the postseason. Though their strategy was a little unconventional at times, especially when it came to their pitching set up, it netted championship results. It was a true team effort, and there’s absolutely no doubting that they had the best team.
The Game 5 clincher was a perfect example of that. Role players contributed. Superstars not only produced, they continued sacrificing by taking on roles they’re not accustomed to. It was fun to follow them all the way through October. For now though, we’ll focus on the five key moments that defined Boston’s win in Game 5.
Chris Sale records the final out
From opening day starter to the final out in the World Series. That was Chris Sale’s journey. It between was another brilliant regular season, and also some postseason hiccups. He battled an illness that seemed to limit his effectiveness in October. But it was cool to see him back up David Price and take the ball in the ninth inning of the clincher. Sale set the Dodgers down in order to set off the celebration.
He also joined exclusive company.
It was a fitting capper to the Red Sox season.
Steve Pearce hits two mammoth homers
Talk about a difference maker. Surprise World Series MVP Steve Pearce has been just that for Boston after being acquired at the trade deadline. The veteran first baseman drove in four runs over the final two innings with a homer and bases-clearing double in the Red Sox Game 4 win on Saturday. He picked up right where he left off in Game 5, smashing a two-run home run in the first inning against Clayton Kershaw.
Thanks to Pearce, the Red Sox scored first for the 10th time in the postseason. They won all 10 of those games.
And what did Pearce do for an encore? He hit another solo home run in the seventh inning giving him a team-leading four in the postseason.
David Price overcomes J.D. Martinez miscue, is brilliant
The Boston Red Sox decision to put usual designated hitter J.D. Martinez in the outfield didn’t bite them in Game 3 or 4. They weren’t so lucky in Game 5 as Martinez lost a David Freese routine fly ball and turned it into a triple. Fortunately for them, David Price was able to overcome it.
Boston was holding a one-run lead at the time, meaning Freese represented the tying run at third base with Justin Turner and Kiké Hernández due up. Price got Turner to ground out to shortstop Xander Bogaerts, then Martinez got some redemption when he chased down Hernández’s fly ball in foul territory.
Price would go on to retire the next 14 batters he faced en route to a brilliant seven-inning outing.
Mookie Betts hits first postseason home run
Betts has had a disappointing World Series and a quiet postseason overall. But he showed why he’s always dangerous when he took Clayton Kershaw deep during the sixth inning of Game 5.
The solo home run was Betts’ first ever in the postseason. It also ended a personal 0-for-13 streak while extending Boston’s lead to 3-1.
J.D. Martinez provides insurance
After getting major contributions from role players in the World Series, the Game 5 spotlight ended up shifting to some of Boston’s biggest stars as the finish line neared. Beyond Price and Betts, that list includes J.D. Martinez. In the seventh inning, he provided some more insurance with a booming home run to center field.
Martinez, who signed a five-year, $109 million contract late in the offseason, was brought to Boston to provide difference-making power. We’d call that difference-making power. Championship-winning power, even.
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