Reflecting on the Dodger’s wild 18-inning Game Three win
Some consider baseball to be one of, if not the most boring sport to watch on television. Although I cannot disagree more with this notion (see: soccer), I can understand why some would say this. Most games take upwards of three to four hours to watch. A game involves a minimum of 27 at bats per team, and each at bat could potentially take up to 10-15 pitches each before anything actually exciting happens. I get it. One has to grow up watching and adoring the sport of baseball in order to not die of complete boredom while watching foul ball after foul ball being hit. New rules have to be implemented every now and then in an attempt to shorten the length of a game, and even that doesn’t really work to a notable extent. That being said, regardless of whether one is a baseball fan or not, the third game of this year’s World Series between Chris Sale’s Boston Red Sox and Clayton Kershaw’s Los Angeles Dodgers wasn’t just a good baseball game. It was a great game. Period. Even if the Red Sox ultimately still won the series in five.
The Red Sox’s Rick Porcello (17-7 in the regular season with a 4.28 ERA) and Los Angeles’ Walker Buehler (8-5 in the regular season with a 2.62 ERA) started the game. I’ll admit, besides the Joc Pederson home run in the third inning that gave the Dodgers the early 1-0 lead and the later homerun that Jackie Bradley Jr. hit in the eighth inning that tied the game 1-1, nothing too noteworthy occurred in regulation. Sure, Buehler threw a great game which shouldn’t be dismissed, and the Red Sox bullpen did a great job at keeping it a one run game. However, it appeared as if it was going to be a routine game that wouldn’t gain the most attention from non-baseball fans.
Boy, did everything change in extra innings. Typically, extra innings are either a blessing (for people who are diehard baseball fans) or a curse (for people who don’t typically enjoy watching baseball). I personally enjoy it despite it adding to the runtime, simply due of the increased stakes. The team who scores first in extras has a high likelihood of winning the game, if not a guaranteed chance at winning the game, depending on who’s hosting and a multitude of other variables. This makes every run more meaningful. Extra innings usually don’t go on for long, as two to three extra innings are typically played out most of the time to determine the winner. This game was special in all the right ways. It proved to be one that provided plenty of excitement, despite the fact that it went on for not 15, not 16, not even 17, but 18 innings, making it the longest playoff game in history, clocking in at seven hours and twenty minutes.
The action started as soon as extras started. The Red Sox were up to bat. With Ian Kinsler on third and Brock Holt at first, with one out in the top of the 10th, Eduardo Nunez, pinch hitting for Rafael Devers, hit one to right-center field for a sacrifice fly attempt. Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers’ center fielder set up and threw a straight bullet to home plate, where Austin Barnes applied the tag to Kinsler to keep the game tied at one a piece.
On to the 13th inning. That was a good inning. With Brock Holt on first, nobody out, Eduardo Nunez up to plate, here comes the pitch…Holt goes for the steal; the pitch is in the dirt; Nunez goes down as the catcher Barnes attempts to regather the ball. The very next pitch, a slow roller back to the mound, the pitcher Scott Alexander misses first base on an attempt to throw Nunez out at first! Holt is sent home! The Red Sox lead 2-1! At this point, I’m thinking to myself, “That was a lucky break. Looks like the Red Sox can pull it out!” But in the bottom of the 13th, with Max Muncy on first and one out, Bellinger knocked one into the foul third base side, Nunez runs for it, makes the catch, and falls into the stands! Muncy runs to second on some smart baserunning. Now with Muncy at second, one out away from the Red Sox sealing it. Puig stepped up to bat with the game on the line, and he hits a line drive slightly right of the pitcher’s mound. Ian Kinsler was there to snag it, but he trips—his throw to first goes way right and gets past the first baseman Christian Vazquez! Muncy is sent home, the game is tied at 2-2!
Then a couple of innings go by, Red Sox waste several men in scoring position opportunities…though the Red Sox bullpen arm Nathan Eovaldi is throwing a gem and keeping them in the game.
By the 15th inning, I’m getting tired, and I want to go to bed. Muncy is first up to bat. After a long fought at bat that has him at a full count, he swings and absolutely luanches one! It’s going, going, foul! The game goes on!
More innings go by. Nothing really happens, besides the hype that ensues in the common room when either team gets a base hit that probably won’t lead to anything…
The 18th inning. They have played two whole baseball games in one. I have PLTL tomorrow morning (rather, I have PLTL today, since it is now 3 a.m.).
Bottom of the inning, we’re all waiting for something, for ANYTHING to happen. Muncy is up to bat. “So what,” I think. The count goes full, and he fouls one off. Next pitch, crack! It’s going, going, GONE to left-center field! The game is over! Finally!
We wake up so many people with our screaming. I almost feel guilty.