By Joe Leo
Published: December 12th, 2018
From the famous “Philly-Special,” to UMBC knocking off Virginia to become the first 16 seed to beat a number one seed in the history of the NCAA tournament; 2018 was definitely an important year in sports history. We also saw a number of records broken. The most completions in a game without an incompletion was set by Philip Rivers, the Yankees made history by having each position in the batting order hit 20 homers, and Stephen Curry become the first player to set a finals record making nine three-pointers in an NBA finals game. All of that however, was topped by the game of the year in 2018—World Series Game 3.
This game was a microcosm of the entire baseball season in an eight-hour affair. From great pitching, to heart wrenching moments, edge of your seat drama, bullpen strategy, shifts, and of course, long home runs.
The Boston Red Sox had just come off two dominating performances in games one and two in Boston, and the Los Angeles Dodgers looked defeated in all phases of the game. To start game three, Los Angeles sent out rookie pitcher Walker Buehler who had shown serious promise throughout the season and pitched as if he was wise beyond his years. And in game three, that incredible run continued as he silenced the Boston bats through seven shutout innings, striking out seven, and only giving up two hits.
On the other side, Boston had entrusted a decisive game three start to Rich Porcello, who in his last start was rocked by the defending champs going only four innings. He gave up seven hits, two homers, and four earned runs.
Porcello in Los Angeles battled through 4.2 innings and managed to keep the Dodger hitters at bay. Porcello’s only hiccup was a third inning home run into the right field seats by Joc Pederson. After that the ensemble of Rodriguez, Kelly, Brasier, Barnes, Price, Kimbrel, and Hembree dominated the Dodger hitters. While the Red Sox pitchers flipped through the Dodgers lineup like a picture book, the Boston offense slowly found its footing. It took the Red Sox eight-innings until they finally got on the scoreboard with Jackie Bradley hitting a bomb into right center.
After that, madness ensued.
Fast forward to the 13th inning where in the top half, Brock Holt drew a four-pitch walk—he would then steal second. In an effort to throw out Holt on the stolen base attempt Dodger catcher Austin Barnes would run over Nunez at the plate following the ball bouncing away from Barnes and going through Nunez’ legs. Nunez would than tap a swinging bunt in between the pitcher’s mound and first. Dodger lefty Scott Alexander picks up the ball and lobs it away into short right field allowing Holt to score. The following half inning Eovaldi would go into his second inning of work. Eovaldi would give up a lead-off walk to Max Muncy than get the following two hitters out. Yasiel Puig came up as the Dodgers last chance and ground a ball to second. Ian Kinsler fields the ball, stumbles, and throws away a routine play into the netting of the camera wall, allowing the Dodgers to tie the game. Five innings and two hours later, Eovaldi on his sixth inning of relief and approaching 100 pitches toes the rubber. The first batter he would face was Muncy and the Dodger first baseman would launch a game winning solo shot to left center giving everyone watching the ability to finally exhale after watching the baseball version of the 100-year war.
Everything in that game from the theatrics to the chess moves made by the managers demonstrated the beauty of the game of baseball. This marathon of a game cannot be topped with the stakes in which it was played, the excitement, and most importantly the memories it created.