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Dodgers win longest ever World Series game

  • Muncy’s walk-off homer in the bottom of the 18th inning gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a 3-2 victory in what was, by time, the longest game in World Series history
    Game is longest in World Series history at over seven hours Muncy’s walk-off homer in the bottom of the 18th inning gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a 3-2 victory in what was, by time, the longest game in World Series history
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Boston Red Sox 2-3 Los Angeles Dodgers. Red Sox lead best-of seven series 2-1 after 18-inning marathon.
Game is longest in World Series history at over seven hours

Max Muncy nearly ended this mind-bending game in the 15th inning, but a ball that looked destined to end up as a home run hooked just around the right foul pole, and a collective groan from the home fans in Dodger Stadium followed. When the Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman stepped up to the plate three innings later, he made sure it would be the final at bat of the game, if not the day.

A game that began at 5.10pm on Friday ended at 12.30am on Saturday when Muncy launched a Nathan Eovaldi 90mph fastball into the left-field bleachers. Muncy rounded third, and the Dodgers dugout emptied in delirious euphoria to celebrate the 3-2 victory. Finally, at long last, they were headed to bed, and more importantly, won’t face elimination against the Boston Red Sox when the teams play again later in the day.

At seven hours and 20 minutes over 18 innings, Game 3 of the 2018 World Series is the longest in the history of the Fall Classic, both in total time and number of frames. Now, both clubs must prepare for Game 4 with first pitch scheduled for 5.09pm, less than 17 hours after this contest ended.

 
Eovaldi was slated to start on Saturday. Those plans are scrapped, of course, after he was pressed into bullpen duty out of necessity in the 12th inning. He tossed six scoreless innings before Muncy in the 18th inning launched Eovaldi’s 97th pitch into the stands. Those 97 pitches are the most for a reliever in World Series history on a night of firsts. The surreal meeting included Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw pinch-hitting in the penultimate inning (he lined out to right).

It didn’t have to be this way. All Red Sox second baseman Ian Kinsler had to do was toss the ball to first and the game would have concluded in just 13 innings. Instead, Yasiel Puig reached base safely on Kinsler’s errant throw, and Muncy scored from second to tie the game at 2-2.

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After two full games’ worth of baseball, it’s easy to forget that rookie right-hander Walker Buehler had earlier delivered a gem for the Dodgers: seven scoreless innings, 108 pitches and seven strikeouts. He allowed just two hits and didn’t allow a single walk.

Rather than keep the hot hand going, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts elected to insert closer Kenley Jansen for the six-out save. With two outs, Jackie Bradley Jr did what he’s done all postseason. He launched a Jansen pitch 394 feet into the right-field stands and tied it up at one entering the ninth.

Bradley’s solo shot was the equalizer the Red Sox needed after Joc Pederson broke out of a 0-24 slump with a solo homer of his own in the third-inning off Rick Porcello.

The hits were few and far between. The Dodgers and Red Sox combined for just 18 of them over 18 innings. AL MVP favorite Mookie Betts went hitless in seven plate appearances. David Price, who tossed 88 pitches over six innings in a Game 2 victory, entered in the ninth inning.

It was that kind of game, with exhausted relievers forced to squeeze every last drop out of their arms, shoulders and elbows. And then there were the baserunning blunders from both sides. Price caught Cody Bellinger attempting to steal second in the ninth. One inning later, it was Kinsler bumbling around the bases as a pinch-runner, though he somehow made it to third.

The Guardian