Boston Red Sox at LA Dodgers
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
LOS ANGELES – Max Muncy was the hero of the longest postseason game in baseball history, and now the Los Angeles Dodgers look to even the World Series when they host the Boston Red Sox for Game 4 on Saturday. Muncy hit a leadoff homer over the left-center field wall in the bottom of the 18th inning on Friday to give LA a 3-2 win and cut their deficit to 2-1.
Muncy’s blast ended the 7-hour, 20-minute contest and represents the first walk-off World Series homer by a Los Angeles player since Kirk Gibson’s famous shot off Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley in 1988. “What a ballgame, what a marathon, unbelievable fight from our ballclub,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said in a postgame television interview. “And what a moment for Max. That’s icing on the cake right there. That’s a special moment.” The Red Sox were close to taking a commanding 3-0 series lead when they pushed across a run in the top of the 13th, but a throwing error by second baseman Ian Kinsler with two outs in the bottom half allowed Los Angeles to knot the contest. “That was the best baseball game I’ve ever been a part of,” Boston manager Alex Cora said in his postgame press conference. “The effort from both sides was amazing.”
TV: 8:09 p.m. ET, FOX
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox TBA vs. Dodgers LH Rich Hill (0-0, 2.61 ERA)
Scheduled Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi pitched the final six-plus innings of Friday’s loss and Cora didn’t announce a replacement after the game, saying “there are a few guys lining up in my office to start the game.” Among the possibilities are three left-handers – scheduled Game 5 starter Chris Sale could be moved up a day, regular-season starter Eduardo Rodriguez could land the spot or Cora could tab Drew Pomeranz, who began warming up in the 18th inning on Friday. Sale came away with a no-decision in Game 1 after giving up three runs and five hits with seven strikeouts in four-plus innings, Rodriguez struck out the lone batter he faced in Game 3 while Pomeranz hasn’t pitched at all in the postseason, with his last appearance being a one-inning relief stint on Sept. 30.
Hill is scheduled to make his third start of the postseason – he pitched five or fewer innings in both of his previous turns – as long as manager Dave Roberts doesn’t change course. The 38-year-old discussed the importance of his start prior to Game 3, aware that the club doesn’t want the season to end at Dodger Stadium. “I think the biggest thing is, just keep bringing it,” Hill said in his press conference. “That’s what we have to do here in L.A. and continue to keep fighting, don’t hang our heads and give ourselves the best chance to go back to Boston.”
1. Both teams set World Series records in Game 3 for players (23) and pitchers (nine) used in a single contest.
2. Muncy reached base four times (two hits, two walks) in his first start of the series and nearly ended the game in the 15th inning, but his blast down the right-field line narrowly went foul.
3. Boston RF Mookie Betts (0-for-7, three strikeouts) and SS Xander Bogaerts (0-for-8, two strikeouts) were hitless atop the batting order.