The Boston Red Sox have officially clinched their 2018 World Series berth after beating the Houston Astros 4-1 in Game 5 of the ALCS. This is the first time the Red Sox are heading to the World Series since 2013 when they won it. The Astros took Game 1 but the Red Sox won the next four to advance to the World Series. They will face either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Milwaukee Brewers in the World Series, as the two teams battle it out in the NLCS.
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) October 19, 2018
Game 5 was a 4-1 victory for the Red Sox, David Price broke his “curse” of struggling in the playoffs by pitching 6 shutout innings striking out 9 for the Red Sox. After Price was pulled, the Red Sox bullpen took care of the last three innings only allowing two hits and one run over three innings. The Red Sox got to Justin Verlander early, with J.D. Martinez’s solo home run in the 3rd inning. Verlander exited the game pitching six innings giving up all 4 runs scored by the Red Sox. Rafael Devers hit a 3-run home run in the 6th inning which extended Boston’s lead and ultimately sealed the win.
The powerful lineup the Red Sox have put up an astounding 29 runs in the ALCS, keeping up the incredible hitting just as they did in the ALDS against the New York Yankees. Jackie Bradley Jr. was the story of the Red Sox offensive output in the ALCS, delivering a 3-run double in Game 2 which gave them the lead, a grand slam home run in Game 3, and a crucial 2-run home run in Game 4.
The Red Sox pitching staff plundered in Game 1 of the ALCS when Chris Sale was pulled early some speculated Manager Alex Cora’s decision to do this and possibly blaming this as the reason for their loss. After Game 1, the Red Sox starters had some rougher starts against the star-studded Astros offense. David Price got touched up in Game 2 for 4 runs in 4.2 innings pitched, however, came back in Game 5 to be lights out in 6 shutout innings. Their bullpen came through for them, even allowing some runs they were able to come in and get the job done. Craig Kimbrel picked up three saves in the ALCS even with his dramatic Game 3 save giving up 1 run and walking three over two innings.
Overall pitching produced wins, but offense carried the way for the Red Sox. Their pitching staff was a little shaky, both starters and relievers, however, David Price who had a consistently bad rap for losing in the postseason turned that around tonight with his shutout win to send the Red Sox to the World Series. Keep an eye on their pitching and hope that their offense can stay hot and help them battle in the World Series.
The Astros came into the series fresh off a 3-0 sweep of the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS. Their season has concluded after tonight’s loss to the Red Sox, though they scored a total of 21 runs in the ALCS it was not enough. The Astros pitching staff struggled after their pitching was so dominant in the ALDS. In Game 2 of the ALCS, Gerrit Cole allowed 4 runs over 6 innings pitched. In Game 3 of the ALCS, their bullpen lost the game with Roberto Osuna giving up 5 runs only recording 2 outs and again in Game 4 with Josh James giving up 3 runs and the two-run home run that gave the Red Sox the lead. Tonight in Game 5, Justin Verlander allowed 4 runs over six innings which gave the Astros a 3 run deficit from which their offense could not come back from.
Justin Verlander walks off the field after giving up a 3-run home run giving the Astros a 4-1 lead in Game 5. (Elsa/Getty Images)On the offensive side of things, the Astros, they were scoring just not enough runs, as mentioned above the Red Sox scored a total of 28 runs compared to the Astros 21 in the ALCS. Astros manager A.J. Hinch also released a statement saying that Jose Altuve is playing hurt, and if this was not the playoffs, there is no way that Altuve would be playing.
Sources: The Indians warned the Red Sox about a man named Kyle McLaughlin taking pictures of their dugout for the Houston Astros. MLB also looked into an August incident in which Oakland alleged an Astros sign-stealing scheme.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 17, 2018
Something else to note about the Astros from the ALCS and ALDS was accused of cheating. The Astros are not moving onto the World Series, however, they were accused of having someone without proper credentials in the media area by the Red Sox dugout taking photos of the Red Sox dugout. After this was released, this same person was allegedly doing the same thing with the Indians during the Astros ALDS sweep of them. Major League Baseball released a statement saying that the Astros were not cheating in any way and they deemed the matter to be closed and not an issue.
The Red Sox will now await the winner of the NLCS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers, the Dodgers are currently up 3-2 on the Brewers heading into Game 6.