Max Muncy hits 18th inning walk off home run as Dodgers outlast Red Sox in longest ever World Series game
- Los Angeles edge Boston 3-2 after seven hours and 20 minutes
- No World Series game has ever gone beyond 14 innings
Max Muncy blasted an 18th inning walk off home run as the Los Angeles Dodgers snatched a 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox in the longest game in World Series history.
A record-shattering game three that began on Friday afternoon at 5.09pm local time finished seven hours and 20 minutes later in the early hours of Saturday morning with the Dodgers claiming a victory that cut Boston’s lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1.
The game was the longest in the 115-year history of the World Series, comfortably surpassing the five hour and 41 minute battle that went 14 innings between the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox in 2005.
The marathon duel was also the longest postseason game in Major League Baseball history.
Guess there is a Max for how many innings will be played tonight. pic.twitter.com/prBS1luHfK
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 27, 2018
“Had our backs against the wall many times, and for us to persevere, it wasn’t how we scripted it but it was a big win for us,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said the game was “probably one of the best, if not the best game I’ve ever been a part of”.
“It was a great baseball game, seven hours whatever it is. People back home are probably waking up to the end,” Cora said.
Both exhausted teams emptied their benches as they attempted to get over the line, combining to use 46 players, a record for a World Series game.
Boston decimated their pitching resources as they sought to claim a win that would have given them a formidable 3-0 series lead.
The Red Sox’ Nathan Eovaldi, who had been set to start on the mound in game four at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, was pressed into action in the 12th inning and ended up having to hurl for six innings and 97 pitches.
“What Nate did tonight, that was amazing,” Cora said.”
The extra-inning drama was the final act of an epic contest which saw the Dodgers claw their way into a winning position after a magnificent pitching performance by rookie right-hander Walker Buehler.
Needing a win to have any chance of battling back into the series, the 24-year-old Buehler gave his team a platform for victory through seven scoreless innings, which included seven strikeouts.
When Buehler left the game, the Dodgers led 1-0 through Joc Pederson’s towering home run that soared into the right field stands in the bottom of the third inning.
But the Red Sox hit back when Jackie Bradley Jnr homered off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen at the top of the eighth inning to level at 1-1.
The Red Sox were denied a 2-1 lead in the 10th inning by a stunning double play from Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers outfielder launching a bomb from long-range that found catcher Austin Barnes at home plate who tagged out Ian Kinsler.
The Red Sox then took the lead in the 13th inning when a fielding blunder involving Dodgers reliever Scott Alexander and Kike Hernandez allowed Brock Holt to scamper home for a 2-1 lead.
The Dodgers appeared to be sliding to defeat but were then gifted a tying run in the bottom of the 13th with another fielding gaffe.
Down to their final out, Cuban slugger Yasiel Puig hit a simple ground ball to Red Sox veteran Kinsler, but the second baseman chucked wildly past first base allowing Muncy to race over for the tying run at 2-2.
From that point on it became a question of who would blink first.
Eovaldi did brilliantly to shut down the Dodgers in the late innings, while the Dodgers Kenta Maeda survived a jam in the 15th when the Red Sox got two men on base but were unable to score.
The stadium erupted in the 15th when Muncy missed a home run by just a few feet in far right field as it drifted into foul territory.
As the clock turned midnight, the crowd cheered wildly as the game neared the 20-inning mark.
In the bottom of the 18th inning though, Muncy finally got his reward. Eovaldi opened by serving three balls and a strike.
Muncy then pounced on his first opening, bludgeoning the ball high into left centrefield for a home run before being mobbed by Dodgers teammates at home plate.