Almanac Baseball: Soxxxxx!!!!!!

My heart is skipping a beat as I write this post. The Red Sox are the Champions of the known baseball universe and I am ecstatic. Yesterday, I had a reprieve from work to duck down to the College Lawn in Prahran and catch the last few innings of Game 5 of the 2018 World Series. The Sox were up 3-1 in the series and in control at 4-1. While chowing down on a burrito and with a warm Spring sun on my back, I witnessed;

 

  • The final outs of a David Price masterclass
  • A scorching homer from our MVP Steve Pearce
  • Classic relieving from Kelly and Sale
  • The complete capitulation of the Dodgers

 

How sweet it was! Having watched the previous 4 games in their entirety (minus a few innings in Game 3) it was fateful to witness the denouement of the greatest season of baseball I have witnessed from the Sox in my tenure as a fan. The Sox are my mistress. I have been happily wedded to the North Melbourne Football Club since I moved to Melbourne in the late ’80s. Falling in love with my wife and Wayne Carey got me settled in this great town. About a decade ago, I needed a new beau to ignite my passion in life. Whilst David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis didn’t quite match the King in elegance and majesty on the pitch, they certainly took a hold of me and I was hooked. I was rewarded with a great season in 2013, but there always seemed to be the imminent threat of derailment. This year was different. I felt it in my waters as early as April – this team was destined for greatness.

 

We will look back at this World Series and see that it was a contest between a great team and a bunch of also-rans. I don’t want to come across as mean-spirited but the Dodgers were clearly inferior. They have a place in the record books by sending Game 3 to 18 innings and thereby making it the longest epic in this fabled contest but they were unworthy opponents. The Astros would have been a far more fitting foe on the greatest stage. So no more on the Dodgers. Life is too short.

 

The first two games at Fenway were magnificent. In Game 1, the two aces were under siege. Both Kershaw and Sale only got 4 frames each but Kershaw gave up 2 more runs. It was a grind, though, and both sides were in it until the pinch hitter, Nunez, stepped up in the bottom of the 7th. With 2 on, he sent his one and only hit into the bleaches to seal a great victory 8-4. In Game 2, it would be the 5th as the defining moment. With the bases loaded, Steve Pearce drew a walk to get one home and our great slugger JD Martinez singled to bring another 2 home and close out the game 4-2.

 

When the caravan moved to LA, the Sox were up 2 zip and looked invincible. They had swept their opposition on their 2 previous postseason roadtrips. It wasn’t to be a sweep in the City of Angels but the closest thing to it. Game 3 is now ensconced in the history books until another game goes longer than a full day of test cricket, but the Dodgers were playing for their lives and always looked beatable. They got the win to delay proceedings but Games 4 and 5 showed who really was the real deal.

 

The Dodgers looked good early in Game 4, granted, but when the rally came, oh brother it was a thing of beauty. The rally from the 7th to the 9th from the Sox was simply awe inspiring. Yasiel Puig is a great slugger and his 3 run bomb set us on our heels. It would take something special to respond. Mitch Moreland responded in kind to make it 4-3 going into the 8th. When Steve Pearce went to the plate, I felt something was coming. His homer leveled the game and the momentum shifted. When he returned to the plate and hit a bases clearing double in the 9th to put the result beyond doubt, I just knew the Sox were now unstoppable.

 

Most baseball observers felt Game 5 was going to be the decider. The Dodgers just didn’t seem to have the fortitude for a rally and to be honest the way they kept bitching about Boston’s cold didn’t seem up for a return visit. With David Price on the mound and uncertainty over whether Kershaw had got over Game 1, it felt right that this would be the day. Two homers to Pearce to earn him an MVP award and solo shots to the best hitters in the majors, Mookie and JD, ensured the Sox could savour victory on enemy territory.

 

Reflecting on this magnificent win and season, it would be easy to rave about so many aspects of this great team but I want to finish off in the same manner as my post on the Pennant races. There is something special about Alex Cora. In his first season as a manager, he has taken this iconic franchise to its greatest ever regular season and a stirring World Series victory. He has made some of the most astute calls in the heat of battle and remained calm throughout. He is a special talent and has nurtured a roster of players that can go onto dominate for a decade. Never forget, my friends, we have open borders at the Red Sox Nation. Come one, come all, as it promises to be a great ride.

 

About

Grew up playing the rugby codes in suburban Sydney. Moved to Melbourne during the Carey era so becoming a Shinboner was the natural call. Still love the game they play in heaven. Took an interest in MLB a few years back and have become infatuated with America's pastime.

Comments

  1. Congrats Ruminator. As a Dodgers fan I concede you were by far the better team, and the American League Division games with the Astros were the real World Series between the 2 best teams in baseball. Still that’s what happens when you have separate leagues that only come together once a year. Same in American football.
    I thought the Dodgers were better than also-rans. Still a very good team against a champion team looks ordinary. We were in it up until the late innings in Game 4 and then the cream of your hitters rose to the top. Broke the Dodgers fighting spirit and Game 5 was a procession.
    Pity it didn’t have the 7 game drama of the last 2 World Series.
    As an aside, in all the hoopla about the greatest Redsox team ever, surely Roger Clemons is still your greatest pitcher ever?

  2. Yvette Wroby says:

    Was very happy at the Res Sox won. Was in the states for 2013 and loved the big names back then. Was watching from a distance this year and followed the last 4 championship games. Sox fans can be very happy indeed.

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