Greatest Or Craziest Of All Time?
Game 3. Dodgers. Red Sox. Two games for the price of one.
Not only was it the longest, but it also contained everything you could hope for…and some things you’ve probably never seen before.
Start with Walker Buehler. The 24 year-old wunderkind with somebody else’s tendon in his right elbow threw gas for 107 pitches in seven innings and gave manager Dave Roberts the difficult task of choosing whether to trot him out for the eighth. Which leads us to this question, “If your pitcher is still throwing 100 mph in the seventh inning regardless of how many pitches he’s thrown, is he tired? And if he isn’t tired, why pull him?
I still don’t like bringing Dodger closer Kenley Jansen for eight outs, but he’s done it enough lately that he’s used to it. Things started out well. He got a pop up from Brock Holt and was throwing upwards of 96 mph. He hung a breaking ball to Rafael Devers, but then struck him out with a high fastball.
The next strike Jansen threw ended up in the right field seats as Jackie Bradley smoked a fastball to tie the game.
And that was just the start.
Before I forget, a nod to Joc Pederson. The left fielder was a bonafide chuckle head his first couple of years in the league. Too much early success had him swing for the fences with every pitch. But in the lead off spot following the Bradley blast he had a nine-pitch at-bat against reliever Matt Barnes.
Quick question. Isn’t the runner supposed to veer off when the out has been made at the next base? Justin Turner’s slide into Xander Boegarts in the eighth was late. It allowed Mac Muncy to reach first.
It didn’t seem to matter in the big picture. Boegarts didn’t act like he was hurt and Boston got out of the inning. But Boegarts did start limping later.
This game might not have lasted so long if the concept of small ball hadn’t left the Dodgers offense, like when Yasiel Puig failed to bunt over Cody Bellinger with no outs.
Of course, Bellinger got picked off first shortly thereafter.
I know JD Martinez isn’t the fastest guy but do you really want him on the bench in a tie game with one out late in the game? No outs, absolutely.
Ian Kinsler barely avoided being picked off and being thrown out at third only to be thrown out by Cody Bellinger’s at home.
It has to go down as one of the best throws ever in postseason play.
Regardless of the final score, this game may have turned this series in LA’s favor: Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel took 27 pitches to get through his stint in the game and Kimbrell started hanging the breaking ball… a lot. And Heath Hembree threw 25.
Of course, Jorge Baez threw 26 fo the Dodgers.
Austin Barnes’ playoff beard. Try again when puberty hits.
And has anyone ever seen a play like the wild pitch from Scott Alexander that ended with catcher Austin Barnes upending the batter, Eduardo Nunez? If you watch this game long enough…
…you’ll see a three-innning battle of infield hits and Boston take the lead.
Typical fashion: With Brock Holt scoring when Dodger second baseman Kike Hernandez fell down while reacting late to cover first on the swinging bunt Nunez hit on the next pitch. Nunez of course ended up face down in the dirt at first. The error was charged to Alexander but that’s Hernandez’ fault.
And then Nunez head-butts his own starting pitcher Rick Porcello while celebrating.
And then the clown cars showed up, but couldn’t get in because the bullpen gate was locked:
Boston’s Xander Bogaerts chopped one at the plate but failed to run with the bases loaded and two outs.
l.A.’s Cody Bellinger asked the third base umpire to determine whether he swung.
The Dodgers Muncy’ got to second because Nunez again couldn’t keep his feet and ended up in the seats catching a pop up that wouldn’t have been nearly as tough if the shift had never been invented.
Nathan Eovaldi threw the first of 97 pitches in relief.
Boston pitched to Yasiel Puig with two outs, a man on second and Barnes, his beard, and his oh-90-whatever average on deck ready to deliver a strike out or a force out.
Don’t know why but it cost the Red Sox as Kinsler slipped, panicked, and threw the ball off the face of the camera well, allowing Muncy to score.
Dodger reliever Kenta Maeda could barely find the mound, but then executed a bunt play to nail Nunez at third.
The Dodgers figured out high fastballs and curves in the dirt are the way to pitch Mookie Betts.
Muncy hit one foul in the 15th by three feet on the ninth pitch of his at-bat and then struck out, and, gasp, showed sportsmanship with a nod to Eovaldi.
Nunez fell over the mound retiring Puig.
Dodger pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, pinch hit for another pitcher, Julio Urias, so that another pitcher, Alex Wood could come into the game.
On the 440th minute, on the 561st pitch, after 31 full counts and 18 pitchers, Muncy took an outside fastball deep to left center to win it.
Dodgers win 3-2. Every Red Sox sought out Eovaldi to thank him for his effort.
Other than that, pretty typical.