Boston, Massachusetts - Manager Alex Cora was up to his old post-season managerial tricks again on Tuesday night as the Boston Red Sox got off to a rolling start in the first World Series game played at Fenway Park since the team clinched it in Game Six of the 2013 Fall Classic.
Nathan Eovaldi came out as the set-up man to pitch the eighth inning in a move that mirrored Cora's proclivity to utilize starting pitchers like Chris Sale and Rick Porcello out of the bullpen to secure the win at all costs.
Sale did not come out of the bullpen last night, though, as he was instead thrust into his first World Series start ever, in what many fans anticipated to be a pitcher's duel for the ages. Two of the greatest pitchers of this generation, Sale and Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, squared off against one another in the first game of the 2018 World Series. Both pitchers failed to get out of the fifth inning, but whereas Sale was credited with a no decision, Kershaw actually got the loss.
Despite pitching pretty well, the Boston pitching was carried by the bullpen, including the aforementioned Eovaldi, a stellar inning from Joe Kelly, and the first save of the entire post-season that did not feature a base runner from Craig Kimbrel.
As for the offense, the first inning got off to a great start thanks to an Andrew Benintendi single that plated Mookie Betts and a J.D. Martinez single that would score Benintendi, who went 4-5 on the night, becoming the third Red Sox player in history to record four hits in the World Series, three of which came off of Kershaw.
Later RBIs were provided by a Martinez double, a Xander Bogaerts force out, and a clutch Rafael Devers single. The dagger came in the bottom of the seventh inning, though, when Cora outsmarted Dodgers manager Dave Roberts by pinch hitting Eduardo Nunez for Devers to take advantage of the matchup against Roberts' pitching change. Nunez immediately took a low pitch over the Green Monster to score Benintendi and Martinez and make the game 8-4, which Boston obviously held onto.
Game Two is tonight with David Price on the mound as the Red Sox will look to go up 2-0 before heading to Los Angeles. Go Sox!