If you went to bed on Friday night while the Los Angeles Dodgers led 1-0, or maybe shortly after the Boston Red Sox tied the game in the eighth inning, you missed an entire damn baseball game while you slept.
Those who actually stayed up for all 18 innings of Game 3 of the World Series may be among you right now. Please treat them with kindness no matter which team they root for. These people are all very tired, and some of them (like Uproxx Sports writer Ryan Nagelhout, whose name is on the byline of this post) are very mad at Ian Kinsler. Or maybe just extremely appreciative of Nathan Eovaldi. Or maybe they can’t feel anything, and it’s best you do not ask them questions about what happened during the REM cycles everyone else in America got between then and now.
An attempt to recap this game is difficult because it was two full games, length-wise. But also as the game went on, the threads of the past slipped away entirely. The Dodgers, someone who saw the end of the game may not remember, took the lead in the third on a mistake pitch from Rick Porcello that Joc Pederson crushed to the bleachers at Dodger Stadium.
Lost in the second game that happened right after he pitched, Walker Buehler was simply brilliant as a starter for the Dodgers. He threw seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out seven. Seeing his good outing wasted by Jackie Bradley Jr. was a shame, but it soon was lost to the mayhem that ensued once he iced his arm and put on a jacket in the bullpen.
That JBJ home run, though, was really something.
As the game went to extras, things got weird. That’s what happens when exhaustion sets in — folks start looking to crush the ball and end the game all at once. When that doesn’t happen, people lose focus and extremely dumb things happen in the field of play.
The Eduardo Nuñez as a crash test dummy video is a good example. He got upended in the top of the 13th on a wild pitch that sent Brock Holt to second. Then, that same at bat, he raced to first base and dove for the bag. The throw got away, Holt scored, and good lord this game might actually be over. Nuñez made an enormous catch in foul territory in the bottom half of the inning, crashing into the stands after securing the out.
But while he lay among bewildered Dodgers fans suddenly forgetting that Derek Jeter ever existed, Max Muncy advanced to second. This will be important, as the next batter, Yasiel Puig, hit a ground ball that should have ended the game. Kinsler, however, who had an adventure on the base paths so harrowing it warrants its own game story but is somehow not even important enough to include in this 750+ word recap, threw away what would have been the game’s final out.
So the score was tied, and extra innings continued. A lot happened after that. Clayton Kershaw pinch hit. Muncy almost hit a walk-off in the 15th.
But Los Angeles ran into a problem: Eovaldi was brilliant out of the pen for the Red Sox. While the Dodgers managed their bullpen and managed their roster, the Red Sox only had Eovaldi. As the Boston bats stayed quiet and the clock ticked, it seemed like only a matter of time. Eovaldi, pitching his seventh relief inning, had Muncy on a 3-2 count, but the Dodgers slugger hit a ball out that finally ended the game and brought the Dodgers back in the series.
The game lasted seven hours and 20 minutes, the longest postseason game in baseball history both by time and length of innings. It was longer than the entire 1939 World Series. To say it was a marathon is an understatement — it was a sporting event that defied all reason and logic. The Red Sox exhausted both their bench and bullpen. Their rotation is a mess, and perhaps trying to win Game 3 and take a commanding lead in the series may be their undoing in this World Series.
The game ended, of course, with the hero calling Dodgers Game 4 starter Rich Hill by a very curious nickname.
It was extremely weird, often transcendent game we witnessed late into the night on both coasts, and maybe will take longer than a few hours to unravel the significance of what happened in Chavez Ravine on Friday night. For Dodgers fans, there is nothing but joy, if not a bit of yawning before Game 4. For the rest of the world, well, now you’re all caught up.