In a pretty unexciting game 5, the Red Sox won 5-1 and took home their 9th World Series title. The best team in baseball won the World Series in 2018, and that’s probably the way that baseball is supposed to happen.
Our old friend Steve Pearce took home the MVP award, while other old friend David Price rattled off his 3rd straight great start and win for the Red Sox.
Pearce, acquired for fringe prospect Santiago Espinal in the summer and expected to be a minor role player on a team of superstars, wasn’t expected or needed to contribute the way he did to get the Red Sox to the top. But he did nonetheless, and I couldn’t be happier for him.
Price, the man who not long ago was consistently being pushed out of Boston by the fans, finally exorcised his playoff demons and rattled off 3 consecutive excellent starts. He also mixed in relief appearances to help keep the bullpen fresh, and was a huge factor throughout the playoffs for the champs.
Both former Blue Jays who we loved having here, now with rings.
So we move on to the off-season, 4 months until we get to be excited by fake baseball. But before we do, let us take a quick look back at what the playoffs were.
For me, of the 8 different head to head matchups, the wrong team won in 6 of them. It was a tough postseason to find the right team to cheer for and be happy, with the only real exception being cheering for the Yankees to lose and not being let down. But outside of a Wild Card win, there was no extended run for the Rockies. The exciting young Braves never got out of the NLDS after winning the first of likely many Division titles over the next several seasons. Josh Donaldson and his Cleveland friends never made it anywhere.
Maybe I should have listened to the voodoo magic of Peter Pachinko, who is most definitely not just a plinko board created by Cespedes Family BBQ.
Instead of Cinderella stories and tales of underdogs, we got the behemoth teams steamrolling the little guys, and the team with the most wins in the regular season winning pretty much every series. The exceptions to that were the Rockies over the Cubs in the NL Wild Card game and the Dodgers over the Brewers in the NLCS, the latter not really feeling like an underdog win.
That’s probably where my taste of blandness from this postseason comes in. I like a good underdog rising through the ranks, knocking off a top team when nobody expected it. Aside from the Cubs losing back to back chances at getting into the NLDS at home nearly a month ago, this offseason didn’t have that.
Instead, we got well thought out games, with hard fought battles and strategic pitching matchups. Strategy, talent and execution seemed to prevail most often in this postseason, as opposed to dumb luck, hot teams and massive choke jobs (you could maybe point to the Dodgers pitching staff if you want to try and find the latter, although they didn’t stand a chance against the Red Sox offense).
If I had to pick a favourite aspect of the playoffs, it would have to be Walker Buehler. The young right hander had some very impressive games, including the only win for the Dodgers in game 3 of the World Series. The future is very bright for the kid, and that’s what I love about baseball.
Buehler was also pitching for my favourite play, which happened back in his first start of the NLDS. After loading the bases, he gave up a bases loaded walk to opposing pitcher Sean Newcomb, before Ronald Acuña Jr launched a massive grand slam, in the only win Atlanta would get this postseason.
What was your favourite part of the postseason?