The Dodgers entered Game 3 of the World Series in a near must-win situation, attempting to avoid falling behind 3-0 in the best of seven. It was Walker Buehler, who was asked to save LA’s season in Game 7 of the NLCS, and counted on again Friday night to keep any realistic hope of winning their first title in 30 years. Buehler delivered again, going 7 innings, and giving up just two hits and striking out seven Red Sox hitters. But Buehler would not be the story on this night, as all kinds of records were set for the longest World Series and postseason game in history. It took 7 hours and 20 minutes, but the Dodgers miraculously captured a Game 3 victory, 3-2 in 18 innings. Here’s how it happened…
In a game where neither team was able to get two runners on base in any inning until the 9th, it was only Joc Pederson’s solo home run in the 3rd inning that carried the Dodgers into the 8th inning with a 1-0 lead. Kenley Jansen was mostly brilliant until he surrendered a game-tying solo home run to Jackie Bradley Jr.on a 2-0 pitch. Jansen would shut down the Boston Red Sox in the 9th finishing off a 32 pitch outing to give the Dodgers a chance to win it in the bottom half of the inning.
Cody Bellinger would lead off the bottom of the 9th with a two-strike single to left field, but was picked off of first base two batters later. Yasmani Grandal and Chris Taylor walked, bringing up the pitcher’s spot. Brian Dozier would pinch-hit for Kenley Jansen and fouled out to the catcher, stranding Austin Barnes on 2nd, who pinch-ran for Grandal.
The top of the 10th would deliver the play of the game as the Red Sox were able to mount a rally with runners on 1st and 3rd and one out. Eduardo Nunez pinch-hit for Rafael Devers, and hit a high fly ball to medium depth center field. Cody Bellinger lasered a throw to Barnes at home plate who tagged out the tagging Ian Kinsler to keep the game tied.
The Red Sox would work around a two-out double by Max Muncy, getting Manny Machado to pop out to send the game to the 11th. Each team would have a runner reach base in the inning, but with no results.
An uneventful 12th inning for both teams brought us to the 13th. The 13th inning would not be uneventful. In the top half, Scott Alexander walked the leadoff man Brock Holt who fought back from an 0-2 count to start the inning for Boston. A wild pitch to Nunez would let Holt reach 2nd base with nobody out. Nunez then hit a slow chopper back to Alexander who wasn’t able to connect with Kike Hernandez who was attempting to cover 1st base, as the ball rolled into foul territory, as Holt scored the go-ahead run. The Red Sox would end up leaving the bases loaded, as Dylan Floro was able to keep the game within reach.
In the bottom of the 13th, Max Muncy led off the inning with a walk. After Machado flied out to left, Cody Bellinger hit a high foul ball near the seats wide of 3rd base. Eduardo Nunez would make the catch, but tumbled into the stands allowing Max Muncy to tag up and reach 2nd base. The game was up to Yasiel Puig who hit a bullet up the middle to the near perfectly positioned Ian Kinsler who was able to field the ground ball, but lost his footing as he attempted to throw Puig out at first, and the ball was sent wildly wide of the bag, and Muncy scored to tie the game at 2.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 27, 2018
The players decided to let everyone watching the game take a deep breath in the 14th inning as Dylan Floro and Nathan Eovaldi were able to retire the side. But the heavy breathing would resume in the 15th when Kenta Maeda on in relief of Floro, gave up an infield single to Nunez leading off the inning. He then followed with a walk to Bradley Jr. Christian Vazquez attempted a sacrifice bunt, and laid down a good one, but Maeda was able to field the ball cleanly and get the close force out at 3rd base. Kenta then rallied to strike out Sandy Leon and Mookie Betts to get out of trouble. The Dodgers would not threaten in the bottom half, and on to the 16th they went, where both Maeda and Eovaldi retired the side in order.
After a quiet 17th inning led by Julio Urias on the mound, Alex Wood took over to face the minimum in the top of the 18th. Nathan Eovaldi came out again for the bottom of the 18th nearing 100 pitches in relief. Max Muncy was to lead off the inning after nearly missing a home run in his previous at-bat, hooking the ball foul by just a couple feet. However, this time the foul pole would not come into play as Muncy drove an opposite field backdoor cutter into the left-center field seats.