In the bottom of the ninth inning with the count at 1-2 with two outs and Chris Sale pitching, Manny Machado stood at the plate and awaited the most important pitch of the 2018 season.
This World Series had been incredible yet one-sided up to this point with the Boston Red Sox cruising to a 2-0 lead in their first two games in Boston before they hit the road for the next three in Los Angeles. In Game 3, the Red Sox and the Dodgers embarked on an 18-inning rubber match that would end up being the longest World Series game in Major League history by time and innings that included the utter destruction of Eduardo Nunez’s body, an incredible pitching performance from Nathan Eovaldi, and a walk-off blast to send everybody home from none other than Max Muncy.
After the instant classic, the series was heading to Game 4 with the Red Sox leading two games to one. The Dodgers would put up a 4-0 lead over Boston on a Yasiel Puig 3-run blast in the sixth and after thinking the game was all but over, the Red Sox came right back with a 3-run blast from Mitch Moreland in the top of the seventh off of Ryan Madson what had just replaced Rich Hill and a Steve Pearce home run to tie it up 4-4. The Dodgers would then implode, giving up one run in the eighth and five in the ninth. The Sox would win 9-6 to make the series 3-1 Red Sox.
The Red Sox would kick off Game 5 with a Steve Pearce 2-run shot and the Dodgers would quickly respond with a David Freese solo shot on David Price’s first pitch of the game. From then on, it was nothing but dominance from Price who came out after the seventh following solo shots by Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez and a dinger by Steve Pearce to put Boston up 5-1. Joe Kelly struck out the side for Boston and Chris Sale came in to close it out in the ninth. After Sale recorded the first two outs, Manny Machado, easily the most hated player in the playoffs this year after two takeout slides and clipping/kicking the first baseman on groundouts twice, came up to the plate.
There was no more fitting way for the Red Sox to finish the series and they did not miss the opportunity.
“Here comes the 1-2 pitch…RED SOX WIN THE WORLD SERIES,” exclaimed an ecstatic Joe Buck as Christian Vasquez leaped into the arms of an elated Chris Sale while the Red Sox dugout poured out onto enemy territory and celebrated their well-deserved victory.
Steve Pearce won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award after hitting three home runs in the final two games of the series. The Red Sox beat the Yankees, the Astros, and the Dodgers before they could win the Series. These three teams combined for 295 wins during the season and the Sox lost to them all a combined three times, proving their dominance.
Long story short, the Red Sox were the best team in Major League Baseball in 2018 and are now World Series Champions.