Seven hours later Game 3 of the World Series had a decision. The Los Angeles Dodgers won in walk-off fashion with a home run off of the bat of Max Muncy in the bottom of the 18th. Yes, you read that right, the bottom of the 18th. That’s a double-header. A whole other ballgame.
The longest game in postseason history proved not to be just one for the books, but was one of those times in baseball which reminds me why I love this sport so much.
The Dodgers held a 1-0 lead against the Boston Red Sox for the majority of the game, until they squandered it in the top of the 8th with a solo homer by Jackie Bradley Jr. Fast forward to the top of the 13th when the Dodgers found themselves in a hole due to a throwing error by Scott Alexander, scoring Red Sox Brock Holt. However, the drama didn’t stop there. The game would go on for another 5 innings after a throwing error by Ian Kinsler scoring Max Muncy in the bottom the 13th, tying the game 2-2.
There are many factors besides the length that made last night’s game unforgettable, many only possible due to the fact there is no designated hitter in the National League and the pitcher must hit. Here are just a few:
A pitcher threw 97 pitches out of the bullpen. 97 pitches out of relief. That’s almost unheard of. Nathan Eovaldi went 6 innings with 5 strike outs until his 97th pitch that ended the game. Try searching Google for “most pitches thrown in relief” and you won’t find much because it’s a stat that wasn’t notable until last night.
Max Muncy was in the minor leagues in April. In the spring of 2017 Muncy was released by the Oakland Athletics. In April of 2017, he signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers. Last year, Muncy was watching the Dodgers in the World Series like all of us, from the comfort of our couch. This year, he hit the walk-off home run to keep the Dodger’s World Series hopes alive in a monumental Game 3 win (the series is now 2-1, Boston). You got to love baseball.
A starting pitcher pinch hit. In the bottom of the 17th inning Clayton Kershaw, the Dodger’s Game 1 starter, came in to pinch hit for pitcher Julio Urlis. Kershaw lined out to right fielder Mookie Betts.
The two teams used 18 combined pitchers were used and 46 different field players entered the game–both postseason baseball records.
And the list could go on. Many players switched positions (including Red Sox Christian Vazquez, who moved from catcher to first base in the 11th inning–the first person to ever do so in a World Series game).
For the players sake, fingers crossed Game 4 is shorter than Game 3, but hopefully not any less remarkable.