Los Angeles Dodgers' Manny Machado sits in the dugout during the third inning in Game 5 of the World Series baseball game against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Machado's first World Series one to forget for Dodgers

October 28, 2018 - 11:39 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles' hopes that Manny Machado would help deliver the Dodgers' first World Series title since 1988 ended up falling way short.

Machado struggled against the Boston Red Sox in his first World Series, going 4 for 22. He was hitless in four at-bats against Boston in Game 5 on Sunday night, including falling down as he swung and missed on a Chris Sale slider to end the 5-1 Red Sox victory at Dodger Stadium. It was Machado's third strikeout of the night.

The 26-year-old Machado — who was acquired from Baltimore on July 19 — can become a free agent this offseason and is expected to command a large contract. If he doesn't re-sign with the Dodgers, it ended up being a rental that didn't produce meaningful results.

Machado's three home runs and 12 RBIs rank second among players in this year's postseason, but most of his production happened early.

He was 8 for 28 (.286 batting average) with three home runs and nine RBIs in the four-game NL Division Series against Atlanta and the first three games of the NL Championship Series against Milwaukee. But his production tailed off the rest of the playoffs as he batted .189 (7 for 37) with three RBIs in the remaining nine games.

Machado's most memorable hit of the Fall Classic ended up being for all the wrong reasons. During the sixth inning of Game 3, he had a little too much self-confidence when he apparently thought he hit a home run to left field. Instead, Machado admired what turned out to be a 368-foot single as it bounced off the wall. Had Machado run it out, it might have been a double.

In Saturday night's Game 4, Machado stepped on Steve Pearce's heel as he was running through first base. Pearce said Sunday that he didn't consider the play malicious.

Machado's baserunning was a frequent topic of conversation throughout the postseason. During the NLCS, he was criticized for not hustling during a groundout, kicking Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar near the ankle as he jogged out a groundout (which drew a fine) and a pair of hard slides into Orlando Arcia in Game 3 while the Milwaukee shortstop was attempting to turn double plays. The antics prompted Brewers star Christian Yelich to call Machado "a dirty player."

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