One thing became blatantly clear Friday night and early Saturday morning: there is no quit in either the Los Angels Dodgers or Boston Red Sox.
The two clubs traded blow after blow in Game 3 of the World Series, but it ultimately was the Dodgers who prevailed 3-2 in the 18th inning thanks to Max Muncy’s walk-off home run.
It was a pitching showcase at Dodger Stadium. L.A. starter Walker Buehler hurled seven scoreless innings before the Dodger bullpen compiled a strong collective performance. Nathan Eovaldi turned in a gutsy outing for the Red Sox, tossing 97 pitches over six relief innings but ultimately was tabbed with the loss.
With the defeat, the Red Sox’s lead in the best-of-seven series is trimmed to 2-1.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better word to describe this instant classic.
ON THE BUMP
— Rick Porcello was sharp in the first inning save for a two-out walk of Muncy and turned in a 1-2-3 inning in the second with a strikeout. The right-hander was on his way to sitting the Dodgers down in order in the third as well, but Joc Pederson made Porcello pay for hanging a changeup by clubbing a two-out, solo home run to give L.A. a 1-0 lead.
Justin Turner followed Pederson’s blast with a line-drive double, but the third baseman was left stranded after Porcello struck out Muncy to end the frame.
Boston’s starter got back on track in the fourth, retiring the meat of the Dodgers’ lineup in order, including a strikeout of Cody Bellinger. The fifth inning, however, wasn’t as clean. Yasmani Grandal led off the frame with a single, and after Porcello sat down the next two batters, another matchup with Pederson proved to be less-than-ideal for Alex Cora, who decided the righty’s night was over at 4 2/3 innings in which he allowed one run on three hits.
— Eduardo Rodriguez struck out Pederson to end the fifth inning.
— Joe Kelly got the call in the sixth and managed to toss a scoreless inning despite allowing a two-out wall ball single off the bat of Manny Machado.
— Ryan Brasier allowed a leadoff single to Yasiel Puig in the seventh but still managed to keep the Dodgers off the scoreboard in the inning.
— Matt Barnes made it a little interesting in the eighth, but he capped off the scoreless inning with a high-leverage strikeout of Machado.
— David Price entered in the ninth, two days after earning the win in Game 2. After allowing a leadoff single to Bellinger, Price got Puig to pop out and eventually wiped the bases clean after catching Bellinger running early on a steal attempt. But after issuing a two-out walk to Grandal, the southpaw departed.
— Craig Kimbrel followed Price and walked Chris Taylor before getting Brian Dozier to pop out in foul territory to get the Red Sox out of the messy inning. The right-hander stayed on for the 10th and allowed a two-out double to Muncy before getting Machado to pop out and end the inning.
— Heath Hembree got the nod in the 11th and worked through a two-out walk to toss a scoreless inning.
— Eovaldi hurled a 1-2-3 12th inning. The fireballer, who was scheduled to start Game 4 on Friday, remained in the game for the 13th. After walking Muncy to lead off the inning, Eovaldi recorded the next two outs, but Bellinger’s pop out into foul territory forced Eduardo Nunez into the stands, allowing Muncy to take second since the ball went out of play. Eovaldi then induced Puig to ground to second in what appeared to be the game’s final play, but Ian Kinsler’s wild throw allowed Muncy to score the game-tying run.
Eovaldi bounced back, getting Austin Barnes to fly to right for inning’s third out.
Things went smoother for Eovaldi in the 14th, as he managed to overcome Kike Hernandez’s one-out single to post a scoreless inning. The right-hander went 1-2-3 in the 15th inning thanks in large part to Muncy just barely missing a walk-off home run.
Eovaldi followed suit in the 16th, throwing another scoreless frame with a strikeout. He posted another 1-2-3 inning in the 17th, which saw a surprise pinch-hit at-bat for Clayton Kershaw. Eovaldi couldn’t continue his magic in the 18th inning, however, as Muncy’s walk-off round-tripper sent Dodger fans home happy.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox didn’t get their first hit until Bradley led off the third inning with a single. The center fielder’s knock was all for naught, though, as Buehler caught Bradley leaving second base early on a steal attempt. Christian Vazquez followed Bradley with a single of his own, but Buehler recorded the next two outs with relative ease to get out of the frame.
— Boston couldn’t get anything going as Buehler spun his gem, but the offense had an awakening once the right-hander was pulled. After Kenley Jansen logged the first two outs of the eighth inning, Bradley tied things up with a deep solo shot.
— There was no lack of excitement in the 10th inning. J.D. Martinez drew a one-out walk, prompting Cora to bring in a pinch runner for the hobbled slugger. After Kinsler nearly was picked off at first, the second baseman motored to third on a sharp single from Brock Holt. Pinch-hitter Nunez followed with a fly out to center field, but it wasn’t deep enough for a sacrifice fly as Bellinger rifled home to nail Kinsler by a mile.
— The already wild contest got even more bizarre in the 13th. Holt led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a bounced pitch by pitcher Scott Alexander, which saw Nunez get upended by Barnes. Alexander’s woes only continued from there, as his throwing error on a Nunez infield single allowed Holt to score the go-ahead run.
Sandy Leon proceeded to double to get runners on second and third, which prompted the Dodgers to intentionally walk Mookie Betts. Boston couldn’t capitalize, though, as Xander Bogaerts grounded out to put a stop to the bizarre inning.
— Boston put itself position to jump in front in the 15th when Nunez dribbled a leadoff single followed by a Bradley walk. But after a Vazquez sacrifice bunt attempt resulted in the lead runner being thrown out at third, Leon and Betts both struck out to end the frame.
— Betts, Bogaerts, Mitch Moreland, Martinez and Rafael Devers all went hitless. Blake Swihart, Andrew Benintendi, and Steve Pearce also failed to record a knock in pinch-hitting efforts.
TWEET OF THE GAME
There was a little bit of everything in this one.
The Red Sox and Dodgers will square off in Game 4 on Saturday night. Boston has yet to announce a starter since Eovaldi will not be able to go, but LA will send Rich Hill to the mound. First pitch from Dodger Stadium is set for 8:09 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports