Machado's Series debut enters Dodgers lore

October 24th, 2018

BOSTON -- Red Sox Nation predictably greeted Manny Machado with a chorus of boos every time he stepped onto the field at Fenway Park on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the World Series, but the Dodgers shortstop ignored the jeers.

Machado refused to acknowledge the taunts. He remained focused on the task at hand. Machado is playing in his first Fall Classic, and nothing is going to distract him -- certainly not the opposing fans.

:: World Series schedule and results ::

"We're trying to come here, we're trying to battle, trying to win," Machado said outside the visitors' dugout after the 8-4 loss. "Sometimes things happen, and you just go out there and try to play and try to get some victories. At the end of the day, it's about winning games, and we're trying to win a championship."

Boston's favorite villain, this week at least, drove in three runs to pave his way into the Dodgers' record book, but Machado also managed to shift the focus back to one of the main reason opponents don't like playing against him: He is good, really good. He's also a warrior and makes no apologies for it.

The Red Sox faithful know it's true and have seen it firsthand for years. Tuesday's game was Machado's 50th at the historic ballpark, with the other 49 coming in an Orioles uniform.

"We've got to keep fighting, keep doing what we're doing," he said. "That's the beauty of playing seven games, a seven-game series. You've got to win four. They got a head start, but we've got to keep coming."

Machado finished 1-for-3 and became the sixth player in Dodgers history to drive in three runs in a World Series loss. accomplished the feat in Game 5 against Houston last season. Reggie Smith (1978), Dusty Baker ('77), Billy Cox ('53) and Gil Hodges ('49) also drove in three runs in a World Series loss.

What's more, Machado also drove in three runs in the loss to the Brewers in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, making him the first player in franchise history to accomplish it in two postseason losses.

"He just thrives in it. He loves this moment," Dodgers teammate Matt Kemp said. "He's an unbelievable player. One of the best in baseball. He's built for it and it showed today."

It was Kemp's second-inning home run that cut the Red Sox's lead to 2-1. The next inning, Machado drove home with a single to left field to tie the game. Machado tied it again, this time in the fifth inning, on a ground ball that scored . He drove in his third run of the game on a sacrifice fly that brought home to cut the deficit to 5-4.

"They won 108 games, so they're a very, very good ballclub," Machado said. "We knew what we were getting ourselves into, but tomorrow we've just got to come out, keep our head up. We played a great game, fell short, but [Wednesday] we're going to come back."

Machado and his teammates have their work cut out for them. In the history of best-of-seven series with the 2-3-2 format, teams that win Game 1 at home have gone on to take the series 61 of 93 times. But it's also worth noting that the Brewers defeated the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLCS in Milwaukee, and we all know how that turned out.

"We never doubt ourselves, we're always positive, we know how good we are," he said. "Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. Just get used to it, come back tomorrow, get a 'W.'"

Truth be told, the environment Tuesday night might have actually worked in the shortstop's favor. In some ways, the elements were perfect for a Machado performance.

"I was used to the cold," he said. "We've just got to do a better job tomorrow."