Powered by four home runs, the Red Sox defeated the Dodgers 5-1 in Game 5 of the 2018 World Series on Sunday evening, securing Boston’s ninth World Championship and their first since 2013.
Steve Pearce picked up where he left off in Game 4, slugging two long balls into the left-center field stands. The first came in the bottom of the opening frame off Los Angeles starter Clayton Kershaw after a Andrew Benintendi single, affording the Red Sox an early 2-0 lead. Pearce blasted his second in the eighth inning off righty reliever Pedro Baez, which stretched the lead to four runs.
Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez added solo shots in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively, both off Kershaw.
The Dodgers mustered just three hits all evening. The sole Los Angeles run resulted from a leadoff homer to center by David Freese in the bottom of the first inning.
The Los Angeles starting lineup featured Enrique Hernandez, who was just 5-for-42 in the 2018 postseason entering Game 5, batting in the three-hole. Cody Bellinger, the 2018 NLCS MVP, did not start and did not appear until the eighth inning as a pinch hitter.
The Red Sox rode the arm of starter David Price for seven full innings. He took the mound in the eighth inning, but was pulled in favor of righty Joe Kelley after a Chris Taylor walk. Price struck out five Los Angeles batters. Kelley was perfect in his full inning of work, and Chris Sale tossed a flawless ninth to secure the victory.
Kershaw threw 92 pitches and lasted seven full innings for the Dodgers. Baez handled the eighth, and Kenley Jansen tossed a scoreless ninth.
The Los Angeles defeat came one day after perhaps the biggest bullpen meltdown in recent postseason history. Rich Hill was yanked in the seventh inning for another lefty, Scott Alexander, after allowing just one hit and two walks on 91 pitches. Alexander walked Brock Holt and was replaced by righty Ryan Madson, who promptly surrendered a three-run home run to Mitch Moreland. All seven inherited runners that Madson faced over the course of the World Series managed to score.
Pearce was named the series MVP.
7 thoughts on “Red Sox Conquer Dodgers in Game 5”
In the end, we were beaten by a much better, much more consistent team. Considering how up and down the Dodger season was, I suppose it was appropriate that in the elimination game we got a grand total of 3 hits. The last 6 batters struck out and the last out was appropriately made by Machado (bye bye Manny). Also the guy who got 2 of the 3 hits was pinch hit for by a guy who hit .118 in the post season. It will be interesting to see what the front office does this winter and if we’re taking a vote, I have no problem with extending Roberts. I don’t agree with all of his decisions but over all I think he’s far more of a positive than a negative and of course we do most of our analysis of his strategizing while looking in the rear view mirror.
One of these years, we’re gonna see a small market club like the Fish or the Bucs re-invent the way the game is played. Like teaching players how to bunt and hit away from the shift, while featuring a player or two who steals 80 bags per season.
From a lifelong Dodger faithful, congrats to the Red Sox. They did everything right. They played as a team, everyone contributed to the greater cause, and every single player was eager to step up when it counted.
I think I’m not alone in feeling like the Dodgers just didn’t have it in them this year. I just didn’t feel the “now or never” sense of urgency in them. And I’m not just talking about Manny Machado. (Yeah, I’ll be very happy to see him in a different uni next year.)
As for Dave Roberts, I am fine with analytics playing a prominent role in the game. But data is from the PAST. The game unfolding before you is in the PRESENT. Managers (and FO?) need to make the best decisions in the moment. That decision should be based on a lot more than just PAST data. Otherwise, managers should just be robots with artificial intelligence.
The longer term concern I have with relying on analytics is that it labels players and prevents them from developing into more well rounded ones. If a player is deemed to have trouble hitting lefties, they will sit against lefties – never developing the ability to hit lefties, and end up as career platoon players. I would have expected players like Cody Bellinger, and to some extent Joc Pederson and Kike Hernandez to show significant improvement. But they look like they have regressed from last year. Very disappointing. Good players work on their weaknesses – and become great players by overcoming their weaknesses or sometimes even turning them into strengths. That’s what guys like Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani do. And a good coaching staff HELPS them to work on their weaknesses, instead of sitting them down when the data doesn’t agree. If you recall, Ohtani couldn’t hit lefties at the start of the season, but by season’s end, he made the adjustments and was hitting lefties just fine. Too much platooning takes away the ability for players to fully develop their talent.
The Dodgers approach to hitting also needs an overhaul. You can’t win a series by swinging out of your shoes every at bat. Things like situational hitting, moving the runner over, going from first to third, have become a lost art – but it’s these things that wear down an opposing pitcher and swing the momentum your way in a short series. Heck, the Dodgers can’t even make contact. The fact that the last 6 Dodger outs in tonight’s game came on strikeouts is telling. Everyone on the Dodgers should chew on that one all winter.
At the end of the day, it’s been a fun season, if for the roller coaster ride of ups and downs. The fact that they made it to the WS is an accomplishment they should be proud of – and we as fans should be happy about. But maybe next year, just maybe, we’ll have a different ending. Enjoy the winter everyone!!
You make some really good points. I agree 100% with your point about not giving a guy any latitude to develop skills that they feel he doesn’t already have. It then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since teams always like to copy success, maybe Boston’s approach will influence the Dodger front office to go get some guys with the skills you mentioned. Maybe we already have one in Verdugo if they actually make room to let him play next year.
Gonna be a much different looking team next year. Can’t say I’m sorry to say goodbye to Manny! And I can’t imagine the Dodger’s wo Kersh! But I can’t see Friedman and company offering him a long term deal for the amount of money it would take. And I can’t disagree. Kersh is no longer that kind of pitcher! But thank you Kersh for all the wonderful memories from one of the greatest pitchers of all time and even a better person! I say the Dodgers make a play for Stanton so the Yankees can sign Harper. Can’t wait for the Buehler, Urias, Ferguson era to begin and we need to develop our next closer. Friedman and co. also needs to finally open the bullpen purse strings and sign a couple of 100mph guys to close out those final World Series games. Can Kenley reclaim his cutter and become his dominant self again? But the toughest part is can the Dodgers recover from 2 heartbreaking World Series failures and regain the intestinal fortitude to grind through another long season.It won’t be easy!
The Kershaw scenario will be very interesting. I don’t see the front office offering him a long contract, but I’m not sure anyone else would either. Maybe the Yanks, but it’s going to take a contender with a lot of money to spend and a GM that’s willing to take chances. There are the ongoing rumors that he might like to play for his hometown Rangers but they really don’t have a good ballclub so I doubt he goes there. I think he winds up here and they add another year or two and give him opt outs. The thought about Stanton is an interesting one to ponder. After next year (if not before) we’ll be losing Kemp and Puig so we could certainly use another right handed outfielder with power. I’m another one who looks forward to the Buehler/Urias/Ferguson era. And we can probably add Santana to that mix. I would give qualifying offers to both Grandal and Ryu with the expectation that neither of them would accept. Two more draft picks is always nice. 41 days until the Winter Meetings!
Agree with what’s been said here. No surprise they lost to a far superior team. I expected it. Thought it would end in Boston though. Fortunately for them, the Red Sox had plenty of fans there to cheer them on. I swear I heard the organ player leading a “let’s go Red Sox” chant. They were up at bat and the organ was playing it. First time I ever heard something like that.
Analytics is here to stay. Most teams use it. Currently there are more than a few organizations that are better at it than Friedman.
Kershaw 0-2 with an ERA over 7. It’s debatable he’s worth one more year at $35 million, let alone 5 more years. That said, they’ll offer him something. Jansen with 2 Blown Saves. Whatever is wrong with him he needs to fix cuz he’s paid a sh*tload of money for the next 3 years.
The elimination game ended with 6 straight Dodgers strikeouts. Fitting. They rolled over again at home, again with a whimper. I sure hope the FO addresses the all or nothing approach. A strategy that looks like crap when it’s nothing. I suspect they won’t. It’s what they know. It’s who they are. We’ll see it again next year. Will it be 7 straight Division titles? Yeah, I suspect so. Will it end the same? Yeah, probably. It’s the Kasten model. Somewhere along the line there may be a Championship. Maybe I’ll live long enough to see it.