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Chad Finn | Nine Thoughts

After Game 4 triumph, it might be time to plan for a parade

The Red Sox lined up after beating the Dodgers in Game 4.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

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LOS ANGELES — Nine thoughts on the Red Sox’ 9-6 victory over the Dodgers in Game 4 of the World Series . . .

1. Call it fitting, call it a microcosm, call it who they are and who they have been all along. But just remember to call their Game 4 victory this: The kind of comeback from which champions are forged. No, the Red Sox did not clinch their fourth World Series title in 15 years Saturday night. But they gave themselves a beautiful chance to do that Sunday, after rallying from a 4-0 hole in the seventh inning to stagger the National League Champion Dodgers, 9-6. They started slow, failing to muster a hit off Rich Hill until the fifth inning. But with some David Ortiz-like dugout inspiration from Chris Sale and clutch hitting from Steve Pearce and Mitch Moreland, among others, the Sox came to life just when it looked like the Dodgers would seize all momentum. Their resilience, a trademark all season long, was never more apparent than when they were down to their final six outs Saturday. Now, this is assured: There will be no four-game losing streak this season. But you might want to plan for a parade.

2. I’m not making a direct comparison here, because one of them is on a very short list of the best righthanded hitters I’ve ever seen, and the other is a 22-year-old lefthanded hitter who has been worth 1.3 WAR in his two-year career. That said, Rafael Devers has at least a hint of Manny Ramirez in him, doesn’t he? A hint, I said. The preternatural ability to turn on a fastball, the obliviousness to the magnitude of the moment, occasionally goofy antics that cannot be explained . . . oh, and one hell of a knack for knocking in runs. It was Devers who gave the Red Sox their first lead of Game 4, driving in Brock Holt with a hard single to center for a 5-4 lead in the ninth. Devers is now a .317 career hitter in 46 postseason at-bats, with 14 runs batted in in 14 games, including nine in 10 games this year.


Related: Sullivan: Chris Sale made his voice heard, and the Red Sox responded


Alex Cora game 4 press conference after win over Dodgers

3. A huge moment that might get overlooked with all that came after: Joe Kelly striking out Yasmani Grandal with the score tied at 4 and runners on first and third with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Grandal has been a mess this postseason, but the Dodger Stadium crowd was desperately trying to spur him on to a moment of redemption. Kelly, who has now allowed just one run in 10⅓ innings this postseason, ruined that daydream by blowing a 98.2 mile-per-hour fastball by him for strike three.

Related: This comeback was authored by a most unusual group of suspects

4. I call this either/or question YOU MUST CHOOSE AMONG YOUR CHILDREN, and it’s evil. Which midseason pickup was more important for the Red Sox? Nathan Eovaldi, who has arguably been the Red Sox’ best pitcher this postseason and earned a place in franchise lore with his ferocious relief performance in Game 3? Or Steve Pearce, the first baseman with stickers from every AL East outpost on his luggage who delivered two huge hits in Game 4 — a solo home run off Kenley Jansen that tied the game at 4 in the eighth inning, and a three-run double in the ninth that gave the Sox a four-run lead? Who’s it going to be? Oh, all right, you can have both, because we all know the truth: The Red Sox would not be one win from another World Series title without either of them.


5. If you’ve got a problem with Eduardo Rodriguez Gronk-spiking his glove as Yasiel Puig’s three-run home run in the sixth inning rose to its cruising altitude, you should look at it from his perspective. Rodriguez had a good season (13-5, 3.82), but an enigmatic one, too. It’s clear his manager expected more from him, and his postseason role probably wasn’t what he wanted. He gets a chance to start Game 4 out of desperation, pitched beautifully, then gave up a three-run homer to the aggravating Puig when he should have been out of the inning. I can’t get mad at the guy for caring.

Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) flexes his muscles as he rounds second after hitting a three-run homer off Eduardo Rodriguez (background), who doubled over in dejection after spiking his glove Gronkowski-style.Barry Chin/Globe Stafff

6. Rodriguez made a case for ghost runners in the third when he reached first after Hill hit him with a pitch, but took a Saturday stroll to second on a Mookie Betts grounder and was forced out. He did have a decent excuse. It was his first time on base in his entire professional career.


7. Talk about great timing. Mitch Moreland’s pinch-hit three-run home run in the seventh inning, which turned a 4-0 game that felt like a blowout into a 4-3, hmmm-what-have-we-here thriller, was his first since August 22. He finished the regular season without a home run over his final 75 plate appearances, then went his first 18 postseason plate appearances without hitting one. This team, man. You never know who it’s going to be. But at this point, no one should be a surprise.

Related: Shaughnessy: These Red Sox can no longer be doubted after stunning Dodgers in Game 4

8. So, uh, Ian Kinsler’s off the hook now, right? No more of the New Buckner stuff? We’re all cool? And you think you exhaled when it was over.

9. We’re probably going to give Dave Dombrowski some credit for this at some point, huh? One more win works for me, too.

Dave Roberts game 4 press conference

Chad Finn can be reached at finn@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeChadFinn.