The Dodgers and the Red Sox just wrapped up a World Series that provided meaningful moments and a very exciting game. The Sox won in five games and provided an exciting 18 inning game in that one loss.
The new format forced Boston and Los Angeles to play in back-to-back-to back-games. Imagine playing 36 innings- one of which is a grueling 18 inning game- in three days. That takes a ton of physical and mental toughness, and the Sox were a much better prepared, and frankly, much tougher team.
LA came up just short and now has important questions to figure out their identity next season. Boston has reached the peak of the baseball world for the fourth time since 2004, after the Curse of the Bambino was lifted.
Game One saw the Red Sox hit Kershaw for five runs in four innings pitched, as he gave up seven hits in that time. Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in the game, and he deserves to be considered a Hall of Famer in the making. However, Kershaw struggles in the postseason; the Dodgers need to address that issue going forward by bringing in some backup for the postseason.
Kershaw struggled in this Series in two appearances, losing both as the Dodgers could only manage to win one game in the three home games. Sox’s pinch hitter Eduardo Nunez hit a three-run homer in the 7th inning to ice the game and give the Sox a one-game lead.
Game Two saw the Sox win by a score of 4-2, closer than Game One, with the Dodgers showing a little life, at least. David Price turned his postseason struggles around in a big way in this game, pitching six innings of brilliant baseball and picking up the win. Price proved to be a major player in this series, even appearing in a couple of save opportunities.
Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched 4.2 innings and gave up all four runs the Sox scored this game. The Dodgers bullpen tried to keep them in this game, but the bats could not get rolling against Price and the Sox. The next game had the potential to be a game to swing the momentum back to the Dodgers.
Game Three: 18 innings, the equivalent of two whole games, which the Dodgers won 3-2. It was a huge game and looked to bring life to LA. After the game, it seemed like they could make a push for the title. The Sox exhausted their bullpen, and almost threw two starters in extra innings; it was quite a show. The Dodgers led 1-0 going into the eighth, the Red Sox tied it up off of a Jackie Bradley Jr. home run.
The Sox scored in the 13th inning, and looked like they would put the game to bed. The Dodgers had other plans, as they scored the tying run with two outs in the bottom of the inning. The Dodgers would not go away after that, and managed to win the game off of a Max Muncy home run. Muncy became a hometown hero in LA for the day, and brought life to the Dodgers.
The Red Sox, however, responded by ending the series in LA in the next two games with a 9-6 win in Game Four and a 5-1 win in Game Five. Kershaw lost Game Five, adding to his postseason woes.
The Dodgers have big questions to answer this offseason. Expect them to be competitive next year, but other teams in the National League look to be improving, like the Brewers and the Braves, and will likely push the Dodgers next season.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, can celebrate this win, but need to remember that the Yankees are young and their time to win is around the corner. Expect a very competitive matchup out of those two next season. We will have to wait until next season to see what both teams can do. Either way it should be incredibly entertaining.