Game 3 Was The Worst Best-Case Scenario For Baseball
by Andrew Pasquini – Sports 1140 KHTK
Seven hours and 20 minutes. 18 innings. 18 pitchers used. 561 total pitches thrown. 46 different players used.
Game 3 between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angles Dodgers will be game that will be remembered well longer than how long it took to complete the actual game. Pace of play has been an issue with baseball, causing rule changes such as pitch clocks, throwing zero pitch intentional walks, and limiting the amount of mound visits made per game.
In a game like Game 3 of the World Series, having a game last seven hours and 20 minutes is an issue. All eyes are on the sport of baseball and in the case of Game 3, a whole lot of nothing happened. 34 total strikeouts, 18 combined hits, and just five combined runs made the game feel like it dragged along, which it did. However, the beauty of baseball was able to shine through and while a lot of nothing was happening, everything was happening at the same time.
The game started innocently enough with Rick Porcello taking on Dodgers’ rookie pitcher Walker Buehler. Joc Pederson would start the scoring in the bottom of the third inning with a solo home run to give the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead. Then, for the next five innings, absolutely nothing happened. Buehler, who we will get to in a moment, shut down the Red Sox high powered offense, holding Boston to just two hits over seven innings while striking out seven. He would retire the last 14 batters he would face.
In the eighth inning, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts made the call to bring in closer Kenley Jansen to close out the game. Things were going smoothly for Jansen until Jackie Bradley Jr. would do this:
JBJ HAS THE CLUTCH GENE!
Jackie Bradley Jr. homers off Kenley Jansen in the 8th to tie it up! pic.twitter.com/aSfhRbLmZy
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) October 27, 2018
Just like that, the Red Sox have tied the game. From Pederson’s third inning home run to Bradley’s eighth inning home run, the Dodgers and Red Sox combined for just four total base-runners, all of which were Dodgers. After a whole lot of nothing, something happened, and that something was just the start of what would end up being a marathon.
Fast forward to the top of the tenth, one out, Ian Kinsler on third. Eduardo Nunez hits a fly ball to center field, Cody Bellinger then does this:
DON'T RUN ON CODY BELLINGER #SCtop10
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 27, 2018
Crisis averted, Dodgers get out of a jam. The game goes on.
It’s now the thirteenth inning, the game still tied 1-1. Brock Holt led the inning off with a walk and then stole second base. Nobody out, runner on second, Nunez put the ball in play for single but Dodgers pitcher Scott Alexander made a throwing error, allowing Holt to score, giving Boston a 2-1 lead.
Move to the bottom of the thirteenth now. Nathan Eovaldi makes his entrance to try to close it out. The first batter he faces, Max Muncy, draws a walk. Manny Machado pops out, and the Cody Bellinger popped out to third on a play Nunez dove into the crowd to make the catch, allowing Muncy to get to second. Yasiel Puig then hits a slow grounder up the middle that Kinsler throws away to allow Muncy to score. Just like that, it’s a tie game again.
Two things happen over the next four innings. In the fifteenth inning, Muncy hits a ball that if it is just a few more inches to the left, the game is over right there. Unfortunately, it was a foul ball, just a long strike.
In the seventeenth inning, the Dodgers brought in all-world pitcher Clayton Kershaw to pinch hit. He then would hit the hardest hit ball since in play since Bradley’s home run, nine innings ago, right into the glove of Mookie Betts.
Then just like that, after seven hours and 20 minutes, in the blink of an eye, it’s over.
7 hours and 20 minutes.
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) October 27, 2018
The longest game in postseason history ends with one swing of the bat. Eovaldi gets the loss, the Dodgers win, the series is now at 2-1. Baseball was king for the night and into the morning.
This game will be known for the length without a doubt but with that, a lot will be forgotten. Eleven innings before the walk-off home run, Walker Buehler was pulled from the most important start of his young career. That will be lost in the shuffle of how long this game lasted.
Nathan Eovaldi proved why the win/loss stat in baseball is almost pointless in today’s game. Eovaldi entered the game in the thirteenth inning, threw 97 pitches over six plus innings, allowing three hits, two runs, one being earned, while striking out five and walking just one but because of one swing of the bat, Eovaldi was given the loss and will be remembered for being on the wrong end of history after pitching the best postseason relief appearance since Madison Bumgarner in the 2014 World Series.
When a game goes as long as Game 3 went, things get lost in the shuffle and a lot of nothing happens. In the case of Game 3 though, everything did happen in the midst of the nothingness.