“One night after playing 18 innings in Game 3,” write Mike Axisa and R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports, “the Red Sox and Dodgers only needed the standard nine innings to decide Game 4 of the 2018 World Series on Saturday night. The Red Sox emerged victorious thanks to a tremendous late-inning comeback that erased a 4-0 deficit. They won 9-6 (box score). Boston leads the series 3-1.”
One more win and the Red Sox will be World Series champions for the fourth time in the last 15 years. Historically, teams that take a 3-1 series lead go on to win the series 84.5 percent of time. It’s 86.7 percent of the time in the World Series. The Red Sox now have three chances to win one game. Only once during the regular season did Boston lose three straight games. They’re in a great spot, for sure, but that last win is always the toughest.
James Wagner of the New York Times was also on the edge of his seat:
Entering the game, the Dodgers were 54-0 when leading by four runs or more in 2018. But once the Red Sox start hitting, they can accomplish rareties. On Saturday they became the second team in World Series history to hit game-tying home runs in the eighth inning or later in consecutive games. The other was the 2001 Yankees.
“One thing about our team, we keep playing,” Alex Cora, the Red Sox manager, said. “It’s been like that the whole time. We know that in the last third of the game we’ve been really good throughout the season, in the playoffs, and Mitch with a big swing and that got us going.”
Ted Berg of USA Today:
One day after the longest postseason game in Major League Baseball history, the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers offenses needed five and a half innings to wake up Saturday. Once they did, the Red Sox fought back from a four-run deficit and rallied for four ninth-inning runs to take a 9-6 win and a 3-1 advantage in the series.
The next game is Sunday, October 28 at 8:15 PM EST. Game 6, if there is one, is scheduled for Tuesday, October 30, Game 7 for Wednesday, October 31.
UPDATE: Red Sox 4 games, Dodgers 1 game, and that’s it: On October 28, the Red Sox won the World Series. James Wagner of the New York Times reports:
[O]n Sunday, the Red Sox completed the seven-month marathon by cementing their status atop the sport and among the greatest teams of all time. Riding the left arm of David Price and the powerful swings of Steve Pearce, the Red Sox easily dispatched the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, in Game 5 to cap a dominant season and claim the 2018 World Series title.
It is Boston’s first championship since 2013, and fourth in 15 seasons.
“This one, in my mind, was easily the best,” said John Henry, the Red Sox owner. He added: “They were just relentless throughout the season. It was their unity and sense of purpose. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
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Although knuckleball pitcher Steven Wright and Red Sox manager Alex Cora had speculated about the possibility of adding Wright to the roster for the World Series despite his re-inflamed knee, it was not to be. On October 23, Cora told reporters, “We’re going to meet after the workout today to make the decision and to see where we’re at roster-wise. And we’ll announce it tomorrow.” Tomorrow came and Wright was not added, a disappointment for which he had prepared himself.
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Knuckleball Nation has produced a video of New York Giant Hoyt Wilhelm’s appearances in the 1954 World Series, which pitted the New York Giants against the Cleveland Indians. The Giants swept the board, winning four games in a row. The season was only Wilhelm’s third in the MLB. He had debuted with the Giants on April 18, 1952, when he was already 29 years old, and would pitch in 1,070 games before retiring in 1972.