Sean M. Haffey/Getty ImagesThe Boston Red Sox captured their ninth World Series title Sunday night Jake Arrieta Jersey
, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 5 at Dodger Stadium.Red Sox manager Alex Cora unexpectedly called on David Price instead of Chris Sale to start the fifth game of the Fall Classic, and the gambit paid off, as Price pitched seven-plus innings, allowing one earned run and striking out five batters.Boston hitters roughed up Clayton Kershaw en route to an 8-4 win in Game 1, and they had Kershaw's number again. The three-time National League Cy Young Award winner surrendered four earned runs in seven innings.Steve Pearce bookended the Red Sox's run-scoring. He hit a two-run home run in the first inning to put them ahead 2-0 and then had a solo homer in the eighth to add another insurance run.David Price Rewrites October Narrative with Another Dominant StartEven casual baseball fans were probably aware of David Price's5.03 postseason ERAentering the playoffs; the subject had been discussed a lot both this year and amid the fallout from last season's American League Division Series exit.It looked like history was going to repeat itself when Price gave up seven runs in his first two starts of the 2018 playoffs. Then he allowed just three earned runs over 19.2 innings in four appearances (three starts) to close out his first World Series title.Beyond just how good he was on the mound, Price's flexibility was vital for Boston.Buster Olney Buster_ESPNDavid Price started Game 2. Pitched in relief in Game 3. Warmed up in Game 4. Starts in Game 5 and has controlled the Dodgers -- 1 run in 6 innings.Matthew Pouliot matthewpouliotDavid Price in Bostons last 7 games:ALCS Game 4: Warmed up for over an inningALCS Game 5: Six scoreless in winWS Game 1: RestedWS Game 2: Six innings, two runs in winWS Game 3: Two outs in reliefWS Game 4: Warmed up in ninthWS Game 5: Seven innings, one run (so far)The five-time All-Star seemed to know exactly what was on the line. He wasn't just pitching to get the Red Sox another title; he was attempting to exorcise the ghosts of Octobers past. And in the space of a few weeks, Price has immortalized himself forever in Boston.Chris Cotillo ChrisCotilloDavid Price is fired up. This story is one of redemption, my friends. Six outs away.Chris Mannix ChrisMannixYSAs redemption stories go Nick Williams Jersey
, David Price is authoring a tremendous one. Has been a target since he signed that $217 million contract. Will be beloved in Boston for life if he closes this thing out.Ian Browne IanMBrowneDavid Price makes John Lackeys 2013 transformation from fan villain to fan favorite look almost insignificant. This is like nothing Ive seen.It's somewhat ironic Price's redemption came at the expense of Kershaw, who allowed nine earned runs in his two World Series starts. There's an alternate reality in which Kershaw is hailed as the postseason hero, heaping further misery upon Price.Prior to the start of the 2018 season, some Red Sox fans were probably hoping Price would opt out of the remaining four years and$127 millionon his contract. Now, those same fans will be worried the veteran left-hander might see just how much his World Series performance is worth on the open market.Dodgers' Championship Window Rapidly Closing Ahead of Pivotal OffseasonTwo or three years ago, the Dodgers appeared to have the strongest foundation of any team in baseball. They had a roster capable of winning a title and afarm systemthat was flush with budding stars.Now, the franchise has lost in the playoffs in six consecutive seasons, and, more importantly, Los Angeles is facing a murky future.Manny Machado is headed for free agency Tommy Joseph Jersey
, and the Dodgers will assuredly have strong competition from the New York Yankees for his signature.Kershaw canopt outof his contract, and, while he seems a surer bet to return, his days as the best starter in MLB may be over. His disappointing playoffs capped off a year in which he had hishighest FIP(3.19) and hisfewest strikeouts(8.6 per nine innings) since his rookie season, per Baseball Reference.Likewise, Kenley Jansen had theworst FIPof his career (4.03) in the regular season and is owed$56 millionover the next three years.Jansen was dominant in the playoffs, though, which will ease some of the pressure he would've otherwise faced.And nobody will receive more criticism in the offseason than Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.Chad Jennings chadjennings22Loud boos when Dave Roberts name was just announced pregame. The Dodgers faithful seem to have lost some faith.Abbey Mastracco AbbeyMastraccoI dont know what to make of Dave Roberts right now. It seems like he managed this series like it was the regular season. Meanwhile, Alex Cora managed very aggressively.The Dodgers aren't in dire straits. Corey Seager will be back healthy in 2019.Julio Urias and Walker Buehler are 22 and 24, respectively.Justin Turner is the only key position player over the age of 30. And the franchise can continue to maintain one of MLB's highest payrolls.But there are tough questions Los Angeles will have to answer.Losing Kershaw or having him continue to slowly decline will have an impact on the rotation http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-clay-buchholz-jersey
, and the same goes for Jansen and the bullpen if he doesn't return to his usual self in 2019.Losing Machado would hurt the lineup. The Dodgers may not be able to count upon Max Muncy to slug .582 again either. Opposing teams seemed to figure out Chris Taylor a little more after his breakout in 2017.For a team that has been so singularly focused on winning the World Series, next season could represent a step backward.Red Sox Clear World Series Favorites in 2019 After Legendary SeasonWinning 108 games is probably out of the question in 2019, but the Red Sox have everything required to repeat as champions.The Price opt-out decision will linger throughout the offseason. Beyond that, the spring should be pretty much drama-free for the Red Sox.Craig Kimbrel is Boston's most notable free agent, and the team may be comfortable letting him go. Finding another closer would be better than having to pay Kimbrel between$15 million and $20 million, which is the going rate for proven free-agent closers.Pearce, Joe Kelly and Nathan Eovaldi all played a role in Boston's title triumph, but none of the three is irreplaceable.More than anything, the Red Sox's best players are in the primes of their careers.Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi Aaron Altherr Jersey
, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers are all 26 or younger. Betts is likely the American League MVP, and teammate J.D. Martinez should finish in the top five.Chris Sale delivered another Cy Young-caliber season, while Price and Rick Porcello have settled into their roles as the secondary aces to the left-hander.Manager Alex Cora also handled the postseason like an experienced vet in his first year.The Red Sox followed up their last World Series win by finishing with 71 victories in 2014. This team is different. Whereas that championship was a bit of an outlier, Boston had been building to this for years. What's Next?The Red Sox will open their spring training schedule Feb. 22 against the Northeastern Huskies. The Dodgers will take on the Chicago White Sox on Feb. 23. Boston and Los Angeles will play one another in the 2019 regular season, as the Red Sox host a three-game series July 12-14. Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty ImagesNew York Mets pitcherNoah Syndergaard made his first career start at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox on Friday, leading his team to an 8-0 win. And the victory was made all the more memorable courtesy of an unexpected rat that made its way to the team's dugout.Cut4 Cut4The Unofficial Mascot of the New York Mets鈩?Vdm3xfArnzSyndergaard, however, was not impressed:Noah Syndergaard NoahsyndergaardSo.....Fenway was a sureal ballpark to pitch in.....from a childhood dream perspective......As visiting pitcher on a team and city I love.....#dontfreakoutNoah Syndergaard Noahsyndergaard....and NYC rats are way bigger and meanerDominic Smith, meanwhile, thought the rat was...nice:Cut4 Cut4Dominic Smith: Rat Advocate(via timbhealey) IEf18S3QSMPer ESPN.com: "For the second time this week http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-chase-utley-jersey
, a rodent was on the loose in a dugout at the Red Sox's famed ballpark, this time keeping Mets players on their toes鈥攁nd up on the rail鈥攁s it made its way under the team's bench in the bottom of the third inning Friday night. CatcherJose Lobatoneven went after the rat with his bat."While some Mets players were sent scurrying, Red Sox players鈥攚ho had to deal with a rat making its way to the dugout Tuesday鈥攅mbraced their rodent overlords, playing with a toy rat in the dugout Friday.Baseball is a quirky game, folks.