World Series 2018: Three takeaways from longest postseason game in MLB history

Game 3 of the World Series is finally, mercifully, amazingly and incredibly over.

Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy connected for a home run to left field that gave Los Angeles a 3-2 victory in 18 innings.

Guess there is a Max for how many innings will be played tonight.

This was the longest game in World Series by innings (18) and time (7:21). It is the longest postseason game ever by nearly an hour surpassing the 2014 NLDS between the Nationals and the Dodgers. That game was also 18 innings and lasted 6 hours and 23 minutes.

Nathan Eovaldi was masterful, but he was saddled for the loss after throwing more than 90 pitches in relief.

Boston’s No. 1 through No. 4 hitters combined to go 0 for 28 in the loss.

Three takeaways from World Series Game 3

Buehler brilliant

We normally try to make the takeaways a little bit out of left field. We try to find something you didn’t see and bring it to your attention, but tonight, it would simply be a crime to not talk more about Walker Buehler.

The 2015 first-round pick tossed seven innings of two-hit, shutout ball while striking out seven. According to Stats by STATS, he allowed just those two baserunners becoming the first pitcher since Don Larsen in 1956 to allow two or fewer baserunners while striking out seven or more batters across seven innings in a World Series game. That was Larsen’s infamous perfect game.

Walker Buehler had an impressive #WorldSeries debut for the @Dodgers, allowing two hits over seven shutout innings. He’s just the second pitcher with 7+ strikeouts and two or fewer baserunners allowed in a World Series start.

The other? Don Larsen’s 1956 perfect game.

The Red Sox were the best team in MLB at hitting pitches 95 mph or higher this season, but Buehler’s fastball combined with a brilliant 12-to-6 curve were simply on another level Friday. Boston had little chance to do anything with it.

Starting Jackie Bradley Jr. was crazy!…or was it?

Red Sox manager Alex Cora surprised some people when he took Andrew Benintendi out of the lineup in favor of J.D. Martinez in left field. 

When the lineup card rolled out, Benintendi was on the bench, and Jackie Bradley Jr., who hit .234 in the regular season was hitting seventh. Benintendi was two games removed from a four-hit game and hot at the plate. So sitting Benintendi was nuts right?

Maybe not. And yes, we know Bradley won the ALCS MVP and he has been swinging a hot stick, but he was 1 for 7 in the World Series through two games and batting .143 in the postseason overall. On the surface, Bradley should not have started over Benintendi. However, this simple stat proves that wrong. This season Bradley hit .294 with three homers against power pitching. Benintendi hit .246 with one homer. Bradley had three big hits in the ALDS. One came off of a 97-mph fastball from Gerrit Cole, another from a 94-mph fastball from Roberto Osuna and the last one came on a 92-mph change-up from Josh James.

Bradley went 2 for 3 in his first three at-bats of Game 4. His second hit was the most important as it was a homer to tie the game at one. That was on a 93-mph cutter from Kenley Jansen. Bradley was the right pick from Friday’s velocity.

The first nine innings didn’t do this game justice

The Dodgers and Red Sox were first and sixth respectively in MLB this season in walks drawn. The Red Sox saw 21 two-strike pitches in the first three innings. No one was surprised this game took a long time.

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But goodness gracious the first nine innings of this game dragged. If Bradley hadn’t hit a home run to tie the game in the top of the eighth, this game had 1-0 written all over it. And had it finished 1-0, it likely would have challenged the MLB record for the longest 1-0 game in history. That game was between the Yankees and the Rays in 2014. It took 3 hours and 28 minutes.

To put this in perspective, Game 1 of the World Series last year ended 3-1 and was just 2 hours and 28 minutes long. Eight and a half innings of this game took 3 hours and 13 minutes. Nine full innings took 3 hours and 36 minutes.

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