By: Nick Pooler
Boston Red Sox Take Game 1 in Boston
The Fenway faithful was definitely ready for this one. Various chants ranged from serenading Clayton Kershaw’s name to chanting “Yankees Suck!”, this crowd was crazy. Chris Sale and Kershaw took the hill for their respective ball clubs in the fall classic opener. Both pitchers only made it to the fifth inning where they both were pulled with high pitch counts with no one out in the fifth. Sale went 4 innings striking out 7 while walking 2, giving up 5 hits and 2 earned runs while picking up the no-decision. Kershaw went 4 innings, striking out 5 while allowing 7 hits, 5 earned runs and 3 walks.
The Red Sox started out hot with David Freese missing a Mookie Betts pop up that went foul in the first inning. This led to a Betts single. Betts then stole second and Andrew Benintendi drove him in. Two batters later, JD Martinez joined in with an RBI single to make it 2-0.
Matt Kemp got the Dodgers on the board with a solo home run into the monster seats off of Sale in the top of the 2nd. Manny Machado tied it up with a single in the third in what was the first of his 3 RBI’s on the night.
Martinez did not let that lead stay long as he ripped a double to center field scoring Steve Pearce. This gave Boston the lead back in the bottom of the 3rd. But again, that lead did not stay long. In the top of the 5th, it was first and second with one out when a passed ball from Matt Barnes got through Sandy Leon. Runners advanced to second and third. This took away the double play chance and Machado grounded out to Kinsler at second. Brian dozier scored and tied the game back up at 3 apiece.
The Red sox had some fun again in the fifth when they chased Kershaw. Xander Bogaerts grounded into fielder’s choice that scored Betts. Rafael Devers then joined in with his 8th straight playoff start that involved an RBI tying an MLB record. A big two out hit but the Sox up 5-3. Leaving Kershaw on the hook.
The Dodgers showed one last bit of life in the top of the 7th when Machado struck again on a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Max Muncy. This brought it within one run.
It was looking to be a nail biter until Eduardo Nunez had other plans. Dodgers brought in left handed pitcher Alex Wood. This had the Sox pinch hit Nunez for Devers and he did not let down Alex Cora’s great decision. Nunez blasted the ball in the first row of the monster seats putting the Sox up 8-4 on a three-run shot.
Craig Kimbrel came in and shut the door in the 9th inning striking out 2. The Red sox were led offensively by Benintendi (4-5, RBI), Martinez (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI’s), and Nunez (1-1, HR, 3 RBI’s). The Dodgers had a good hitting night from Justin Turner (3-5). But nothing really showed besides Kemp’s solo home run and Machado’s 3 RBI’s off of a single, a sacrifice fly and a fielder’s choice.
The Red Sox received a great pitching performance from their bullpen; Barnes, Kelly, Ryan Brasier, Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi and Kimbrel all did their share. The Dodgers struggled in the pen as all but one of them gave up an earned run. Ryan Madson, Julio Urias, Pedro Baez and Wood all pitched in. Matt Barnes picked up the win, while Kershaw picked up the loss. The two teams will go for game 2 tonight with an 8:09 PM ET first pitch. David Price and Hyun-Jin Ryu take the mound in this huge game 2. Stay tuned to Sports Media Plus for the games latest updates and scores.