Did you stay up? Did you doze? Did you fall asleep on the couch? Did you go to bed?
Those are questions we baseball fans are asking Saturday as we stumble about like zombies after The Longest Game.
Seven hours and 20 minutes after starting, the Los Angeles Dodgers won Game 3 of the World Series, 3-2, on Max Muncy’s leadoff home run in the bottom of the 18thinning.
Seven hours and 20 minutes after rookie Walker Buehler threw his first pitch to Boston Red Sox leadoff batter Mookie Betts, Muncy drove a 3-2 cut fastball from Nathan Eovaldi over the left-center-field fence at Dodger Stadium.
Seven hours and 20 minutes! The longest post-season game in baseball history. In L.A., capital of Dodger Town, it was about 12:30 a.m. In Boston, home base for Red Sox Nation, it was about 3:30.
Oh, what a night!
After losing the first two games in Boston, the Dodgers were desperate for a victory because no team in baseball history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the World Series. The drama that unfolded as they chased that win reminded me of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, an epic that ended with Carlton’s Fisk’s leadoff homer in the bottom of the 12thinning off the left-field foul pole at Fenway Park for a 7-6 triumph over the Cincinnati Reds. The big difference is that Game 6 was a win-or-go-home situation for the Red Sox, who trailed the Reds, 3-2. The Dodgers would have returned to Chavez Ravine even had they lost The Longest Game.
This game had it all. Brilliant pitching by Buehler, who shut out the Red Sox on two hits through seven innings. A strong effort by Boston starter Rick Porcello, whose only mistake was a solo home run by Joc Pederson in the third. Another magic stroke by Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr., who smashed a two-out home run to right field in the eighth and tied the score at 1-1; Dodger center fielder Cody Bellinger getting picked off first and caught in a rundown in the ninth inning and redeeming himself in the 10thwith a catch of an Eduardo Nunez fly ball and a great throw to catcher Austin Barnes up the third baseline for a stretch tag of Ian Kinsler well short of home plate.
Also, a wild 13thinning that included a botched play at first base and throwing error by Dodgers reliever Scott Alexander that allowed Brock Holt to score the go-ahead run from second base; an obscure rule that awarded second base to Muncy, who had barely checked his swing on a 3-2 pitch to draw a walk, after Nunez, the Sox third baseman, caught a foul pop and tumbled into the first row of seats; a bad off-balance throwing error by Kinsler, the Boston second baseman who had backhanded Yasiel Puig’s hard bouncer up the middle, that enabled Muncy to race home with the game tying run.
Eovaldi was working his sixth inning of relief when Muncy launched his 97thpitch over the fence for the game ender seven hours and 20 minutes after the start.
The Dodgers and Red Sox will return Saturday for Game 4. The team that responds better to sleep deprivation and adrenaline depletion will enjoy a decided advantage. Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez will probably start for Boston. He could use help from the top of the Red Sox batting order, which was hitless Friday night/Saturday morning.
Did you stay up? Did you doze? Did you fall asleep on the couch? Did you go to bed? I lasted 13 innings and went to bed a little after 2 a.m. with the bag of M&Ms empty and the sparkling water drained. How about you?