The Red Sox were the best team in baseball in the regular season, but there were doubts from some as to whether or not they were built to win in the postseason.
It's safe to say that those doubts have been erased.
Things started out rough for the Dodgers immediately. Steve Pearce crushed a two-run homer off of Clayton Kershaw in the first inning to make it 2-0 Red Sox. Los Angeles responded in the first, with former St. Louis Cardinal World Series hero David Freese launching a homer to lead off the bottom of the first and make it 2-1.
There wasn't much offense between the two clubs for the next several innings, as Kershaw and Price both settled into grooves. That changed in the sixth, however, when Mookie Betts blistered a homer to end a 0-for-13 snide and extend the lead to 3-1. An inning later, J.D. Martinez added a solo shot, and in the top of the eighth, Pearce continued his power show by hitting his second homer of the game off Pedro Baez to make it 5-1. Pearce was named MVP of the series after the game; deservedly so after hitting three homers and driving in eight runs in his five games.
The offense certainly showed up for the Red Sox, but the story for Boston was Price. Pitching on just one-days' rest, the left-hander consistently kept the Dodgers off-balance, and he didn't create very much self-inflicted damage with just two walks to go with five strikeouts. After allowing a walk in the eighth, Joe Kelly struck out the side, and Chris Sale did the exact same thing in the ninth; ending the game with a nasty slider that caused Manny Machado to fall.
The postseason narrative that Price can't pitch in the postseason should be all but dead right now. That narrative might stick with Kershaw, however, or at the very least you have to wonder about the reliability from start-to-start. The southpaw had a couple of brilliant starts earlier in the postseason, but both World Series efforts left an awful lot to be desired, assuming you're not a fan of the Red Sox, anyway. The Cy Young award-winner was mostly solid on Sunday -- and to be fair to Kershaw, the Dodgers lineup did absolutely nothing outside of Freeze -- but you expect more from someone of his talent.
The Dodgers season ends in disappointment, but their chances of making a third-straight World Series is strong. The biggest question of the offseason is Kershaw, who can opt-out of his contract and become a free agent if he chooses. Their relief corps could use an upgrade, and if Kershaw does leave they'll certainly want to add a starter, even though they have depth there. They'll lose Manny Machado, but they'll have a pretty darn good replacement in Corey Seager ready to roll. The Dodgers are built for the now and later, and they'll be right back in contention in 2019.
We haven't had a repeat champion since the Yankees had their three-peat from 1998-2000, but on paper, the Red Sox should be among the favorites. They need to address the bullpen and possibly add a starter to the rotation, but the lineup will remain among the best in baseball, and being the Red Sox and what not, they'll have the financial ability to make upgrades if they so choose. This was a 108-win team for a reason, though, and that reason is there just aren't that many holes on this team. They're going to be very good again in 2019 barring unforeseen things.
But that's next year. In 2018, no team was better than the Boston Red Sox.
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