By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
FINAL — Dodgers 3, Red Sox 2
It took over seven hours, but we finally have a winner. Max Muncy is the hero of this one, taking Eovaldi deep and out to left-center for a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 18th.
Damn shame that Eovaldi gets tagged with the loss, because he pitched his backside off. Not only do the Dodgers get the win in Game 3, but they also don’t have to face Eovaldi Saturday night now. We don’t know who will get the start for the Red Sox in Game 4, but it’s looking like it could be Chris Sale on three days rest.
Oh, and now we have ourselves a series, with Boston up 2-1 but with a lot of questions about their pitching going forward.
Are you going to sleep? You shouldn’t. We’ll be here all night breaking this one down. Or at least whatever is left of the night.
Bottom 18th, 2-2: Eovaldi is back out there, but Drew Pomeranz is now warming up for the Red Sox.
Middle 18th, 2-2: Leon drew a leadoff walk, but Betts followed with a grounder to short. He busted his backside down the line to break up the double play, but then Bogaerts grounded into his own double play to end the inning.
Top 18th, 2-2: Lefty Alex Wood is in for Los Angeles. He’s got Leon, Betts and Bogearts coming up.
End 17th, 2-2: Justin Turner strikes out on three pitches. IS ANYONE EVEN TRYING ANYMORE?
Eovaldi continues to be awesome. But he’s at 90 pitches and no one is warming in the bullpen. He may just pitch until his arm falls off.
Either way, this one is now going to the 18th inning. By the time this one is over (if it does indeed end at some point), the Sox and Dodgers will have played the equivalent of two games. How’s that for some 3 a.m. math for you!
Bottom 17th, 2-2: Kershaw flies out to Mookie in right. I don’t really have anything to add to that.
Bottom 17th, 2-2: Clayton Kershaw is now batting for the Dodgers. This game is so damn bizarre.
But it’s also seven hours old now, so we really shouldn’t be surprised by anything.
Middle 17th, 2-2: Vazquez grounds out to first and Bradley Jr. becomes the 16th man Boston has left on base.
Eovaldi is coming back out for another inning of relief.
Top 17th, 2-2: Urias has thrown over to first three times. That man is a menace and he should be punished for such actions.
Top 17th, 2-2: Bradley Jr. works a two-out walk, bringing Vazquez to the plate.
Top 17th, 2-2: Lefty Julio Urias is in for the Dodgers.
Fans will soon get a chance to play in this one.
End 16th, 2-2: Eovaldi is a machine. He has to be. Another 1-2-3 inning, capping it off with a strike out of Freese. He has four punchouts in his five innings.
Oh, and we’re heading to the 17th.
Middle 16, 2-2: Maeda ends up striking out the side. Good for him.
The Red Sox have struck out 19 times in this one.
Top 16, 2-2: Bogaerts struck out on four pitches and appears to be cramping up. Not that you can really blame him. But he’s 0-for-7 with two strikeouts.
Some BIG power bats coming up for Boston though with Eovaldi up next with Kinsler to follow.
End 15th, 2-2: Eovaldi gets Bellinger looking at a curveball, and we’re on to the 16th inning.
Eovaldi has now thrown more pitches (69) than Boston starter Rick Porcello (61). Maybe Porcello can start Game 4.
Bottom 15, 2-2: Machado with another weak pop out and he’s now 1-for-7.
Bottom 15, 2-2: At 6:25, this is now the longest postseason game ever. And there’s no end in sight.
Bottom 15, 2-2: And Eovaldi punches out Muncy on the very next pitch, a 91 mph cutter.
Manny “Pimp My Single” Machado is now up.
Bottom 15th, 2-2: The Sox nearly got Muncy’d, but his long drive hooked foul just before the pole in right. The madness continues.
Bottom 15th, 2-2: Eovaldi is out for his fourth inning and no one is warming in the Boston bullpen.
Middle 15th, 2-2: Betts strikes out looking at a pitch that he shouldn’t have been looking at. It may not have been a strike, but it was too close to take. Especially with tonight’s strike zone.
Mookie is 0-for-6 in this one, with Boston’s top four hitters a combined 0-for-23. Yuck.
Top 15th, 2-2: Sandy Leon strikes out on four pitches and the Sox have two on and two outs with Mookie Betts coming up.
So right where they want them.
Top 15th, 2-2: Maeda makes amends for the first two batters, firing Vazquez’ sac bunt attempt to third to get the force out on Nunez. Hell of a play by the L.A. pitcher.
Top 15th, 2-2: Maeda looks like he’s half-asleep, walking Bradley Jr. on five pitches. Two on and no outs for Boston.
Top 15th, 2-2: Nunez is on again, chopping an infield single to a diving Freese at first. Freese knocked it down, but couldn’t find the ball after and Nunez easily made it to first.
Top 15th, 2-2: Righty Kenta Maeda is in for L.A., with Nunez leading off for Boston. Or at least what’s left of Nunez.
End 14, 2-2: 15th inning, here we come! Pederson popped out to second and Turner flew out to right.
This is the first time EVER that a World Series game is going to the 15th inning. At least we’re part of history now.
Bottom 14, 2-2: Hernandez singles up the middle and the Dodgers have a runner on with one out.
Bottom 14, 2-2: Eovaldi makes a great play to snag a comebacker by Freese. Not only did he get the out, but Eovaldi kept the ball from getting to Kinsler.
Middle 14, 2-2: Holt strikes out to end the inning, though he really only had one strike on him after another terrible call by Ted Barrett.
Anyways, we’re approaching the six-hour mark of the longest World Series game ever played. CAN WE MAKE IT TO EIGHT????
Eovaldi is heading back out. He should get credited with some kind of start for this one.
Top 14, 2-2: Kinsler flies out to center on a 3-2 pitch, and there are two down.
Top 14th, 2-2: Eovaldi strikes out, and up comes Kinsler. He can make up for everything with one swing.
End 13th, 2-2: Puig was sent back to first. It didn’t matter. Barnes popped out to right and we’re heading to the 14th inning. This is now tied for the longest World Series game, innings-wise. Time-wise it’s the longest.
Nathan Eovaldi will lead off because there is no one to hit for him. And because this game needs more automatic outs.
Bottom 13, 2-2: The game is tied again and I just don’t have it in me to tell you how it happened.
Puig hit one up the middle, Kinsler backhanded it, slipped a bit, and then threw it wide of Vazquez. That let Muncy score to tie it at 2-2. They’re now reviewing the play to see if Kinsler’s throw went into the camera well, which is the difference between Puig being at first or second.
Whatever, did you really want this one to end? It’s not even 2 a.m. yet.
Kinsler had plenty of time to gather himself and make a better throw. What a bad, bad, bad, bad game for him tonight.
Bottom 13th, Red Sox 2-1: Nunez just loves falling down tonight. He just ran down a foul popup by Bellinger, and fell backwards into stands.
Muncy with some heads up base running to get to second while Nunez was still gathering himself in the stands. But what a play by Nunez, who is putting together a pretty good resume for series MVP.
But Puig is at the plate with the tying run at second. He’s 1-for-5 tonight and 2-for-11 in the series.
Bottom 13th, Red Sox 2-1: Machado lifts high in the air to left, but its just a long out. He’s 1-for-6, and the Dodgers are down to their last two outs.
Bottom 13th, Red Sox 2-1: Eovaldi walks Muncy on a 100 MPH fastball that was clearly inside, but the Sox bench wanted Muncy rung up for swinging. It was close.
Middle 13th, Red Sox 2-1: Mookie was walked intentionally to load the bases, and Bogaerts grounded out weakly to Barnes, who touched home for the force out.
But the Sox are heading into the bottom of the 13th with a lead and a chance to take a 3-0 series lead. With Eovaldi on the hill against Muncy, Machado and Bellinger.
Let’s end this puppy. Please.
Top 13th, Red Sox 2-1: Leon ropes a double to right field, moving the hobbled Nunez to third with two outs.
Top 13th, Red Sox 2-1: Vazquez goes down swinging on four pitches, two down for Boston.
Top 13th, Red Sox 2-1: Bradley Jr. lines out to center for the first out of the inning. Righty Dylan Floro is coming in for the Dodgers with Vazquez coming up for Boston.
Top 13th, Red Sox 2-1: Nunez does what he had to do and then some, legging out an infield single back to Alexander that scores Holt. Hernandez couldn’t get Alexander’s toss, allowing Holt to score.
But Nunez went down, and he does not look any better than the last time he was taken down — 15 seconds ago. But he’s pretty happy about driving in the go-ahead run.
They scored it a stolen base by Holt, and infield single for Nunez, and an error on Alexander leading to the run.
Top 13th, 1-1: Alexander’s offering bounced home and Holt is now on second.
Nunez was trying to get out of Barnes way, but the L.A. catcher ended up taking Nunez down. He’s stretching out and fiddling with his ankle, which is not good news for Boston. They don’t have anyone to hit for him. Or run for him. Or field for him.
Unless Cora puts a pitcher in the field. Which is not out of the question in this game, and honestly, wouldn’t be all that surprising.
Top 13th, 1-1: Brock Holt works a leadoff walk after for Boston starting 0-2. Nunez coming up.
End 12th, 1-1: We’re heading to the 13th inning after Eovald struck out Turner with a 101 mph fastball. Filthy.
Bottom 12th, 1-1: Early test for Vazquez at first, with Kike Hernandez hitting a grounder right to him. Vazquez made a nice play to field the ball and underhand it to Eovaldi for the out.
So Vazquez is now 1-for-1 on plays as a first baseman.
Back to the top of the Dodgers lineup.
Middle 12th, 1-1: Kinsler grounds out to Alexander to end it. Nathan Eovaldi is coming in from the bullpen, so he will not be starting Game 4 later tonight.
Even more stunning is that Christian Vazquez is now at first base, with Sandy Leon taking over behind the plate. A quick glance at baseball reference shows that Vazquez has played 28 innings at first base — all in the minors. But moving him to first allows Cora to hit the pitcher’s spot No. 3 in place of Moreland. Or something like that. It’s damn late.
Cora doesn’t have anyone else on the bench, and just Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz in the bullpen.
Top 12th, 1-1: Moreland goes down swinging at a sweeping sinker and there are two down.
Top 12th, 1-1: Maybe not. Madson only needed two pitches to get Bogaerts to hit a weak grounder back to him. And that’s his night. Two pitches, one out.
Scott Alexander is now coming in for L.A.
Top 12th, 1-1: Sox have a great chance to do some damage here with Ryan Madson coming in for the Dodgers.
End 11th, 1-1: No harm in the two-out walk, as Hembree gets Taylor swinging to end the inning.
Bogaerts, Moreland and Kinsler are due up for Boston in the Top of the 12th.
Bottom 11th, 1-1: Austin Barnes with a very good take on the eighth pitch of his at-bat to draw the walk. Austin Barnes is not the kind of hitter you want to walk with two outs in the 11th inning of a World Series game.
Bottom 11th, 1-1: Welcome to the game, Heath Hembree. It may be the 11th, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to call every pitch right down the middle of the plate a strike.
But he ended up getting Bellinger to ground out, so no harm I guess.
Middle 11th, 1-1: Betts pops out to deep center on the first pitch to end the inning. So much for that.
Mookie is now 0-for-5 in the game with two left on base.
Here comes Heath Hembree for Boston.
Top 11th, 1-1: Now it’s getting interesting. Pearce took a great pitch for ball four on the seventh pitch of his at-bat, and the Sox have a base runner with two outs.
Here comes the top of the Boston order.
Top 11th, 1-1: Vazquez goes up hacking, and promptly grounds out to short for the second out of the inning.
Here comes Steve Pearce.
Top 11th, 1-1: Baez gets Bradley swinging for the first out of the inning, and his first strikeout of the night/morning/whatevertheheckitisnow.
Top 11th, 1-1: Eovaldi is now warming up alongside Hembree in the Boston bullpen.
End 10th, 1-1: Going after Machado pays off, as Kimbrel gets him to pop out to short to end the threat. Machado has now ended three innings and stranded three runners.
On to the 11th. FREE BASEBALL!
Bradley Jr., Vazquez and a pinch hitter are due up for Boston, unless Cora goes all John Farrell on us and lets Kimbrel hit in a World Series game.
Bottom 10th, 1-1: Muncy rips a ground-rule double to right, and Machado will step to the plate with a chance to end it.
Unless the Sox walk him with first base open, of course. But he’s 0-for-8 in his career against Kimbrel, so why not let it ride?
Bottom 10th, 1-1: Turner grounds out to third on the first pitch he sees, and there are quickly two down for the Dodgers.
Bottom 10th, 1-1: Kimbrel gets Pederson to pop out to Nunez after a seven-pitch battle. One down for L.A.
Bottom 10th, 1-1: Kimbrel is back out for Boston. He’s got the top of the Dodgers order to deal with.
Brock Holt is now in left field with Kinsler taking over at second.
Middle 10th, 1-1: Nunez lifted one to center that looked deep enough to score Kinsler, but Bellinger gunned him down by five feet at home. Heck of a tag by Barnes at home plate too.
No runs. A couple of terrible base running plays by Kinsler. A hell of a throw by Bellinger. And we head to the bottom of the 10th still tied.
Top 10th, 1-1: Holt comes up huge with a single up the middle, and Kinsler goes from first to third on the play. Sox are in business with runners on the corners and just one out.
Another close call with Kinsler though, as he slid by the bag. Luckily he got back in time before Turner could apply the tag.
Eduardo Nunez is now batting for Devers with a chance to hit another pinch-hit, three-run blast in a key moment.
Top 10th, 1-1: The call on the field stands. Not enough for them to overturn it in New York.
Top 10th, 1-1: We’ve got our first review of the night. Kinsler just got back on a pickoff attempt and was called safe, but it could really go either way.
Muncy was so confident that they had Kinsler that he began throwing the ball around the infield.
Top 10th, 1-1: After Moreland lined out to start the inning, Martinez draws a one-out walk. He was lifted for pinch-runner Ian Kinsler.
Top 10th, 1-1: Danny Baez is on for the Dodgers. He gets to face Moreland, Martinez and Holt.
End 9th, 1-1: Dozier pops out to Vazquez, and you’re getting some extra World Series baseball on this Friday night.
Bottom 9th, 1-1: Kimbrel walks Grandal to put runners on first and second with two outs.
Brian Dozier is now hitting for Jansen, with Cora playing another round of musical chairs in the outfield.
Bottom 9th, 1-1: What a gigantic break for the Red Sox, as Bellinger left first too early and ends up getting into a lengthy rundown before becoming the second out of the inning.
It was even bigger when Price walked Grandal on the very next pitch. That will end Price’s night, with Craig Kimbrel coming in to face Chris Taylor.
Drew Pomeranz and Heath Hembree are the only guys left in the Boston bullpen, unless Nathan Eovaldi (tomorrow night’s starter) and Chris Sale enter the mix.
Bottom 9th, 1-1: Puig lifts a high pop up into right and there’s one away for the Dodgers. Huge out, as Puig didn’t advance the runner.
Bottom 9th, 1-1: Bellinger leads off the ninth by going opposite field for a bloop single to left.
Middle 9th, 1-1: Xander grounds out to second to end the inning. After earning the W on Wednesday night, David Price is coming in to pitch the bottom of the ninth for Boston.
He threw 88 pitches in Game 2, so we’ll see how much he has in the tank tonight. He’s got Bellinger, Puig and Grandal to deal with.
Top 9th, 1-1: Betts pops out to right, and there are two down for the Sox.
Top 9th, 1-1: And Benny goes down swinging on five pitches.
Meanwhile, David Price is warming in the Boston bullpen…
Top 9th, 1-1: Benintendi is leading off for Boston, hitting in the pitcher’s spot.
End 8th, 1-1: Barnes comes up with a huge strikeout, getting Machado to chase a 98 mph fastball up and out of the zone to end the inning.
Bottom 8th, 1-1: Cora is changing things up in the outfield for Machado, with Bradley going to left, Betts moving to center and Martinez now in right.
Bottom 8th, 1-1: The Sox got what they needed with Muncy grounding to Moreland, who quickly went to second to get Turner. But Turner had a hard slide into the base and took out Bogaerts, who couldn’t turn the double play. Turner stuck his leg out to prevent Bogaerts from spinning the double play, but it was a legal play.
Bogaerts was a foot in front of the bag when Turner took him out and was a little shaken up on the play. It prompted a quick visit from trainers, but he’s good to go.
Machado is now up with two outs and a runner on first.
Bottom 8th, 1-1: Turner singles to left on the second pitch he sees from Barnes, and the Dodgers have a runner for Muncy.
Bottom 8th, 1-1: After starting 3-0 on Pederson, Barnes strikes him out on the ninth pitch of the at-bat (a 97 mph fastball) for the first out of the inning.
Middle 8th, 1-1: Vazquez pops out to end the inning, but the Sox tie it up on a big swing by JBJ.
The pitcher’s spot will lead off the top of the ninth for Boston, so expect to see Andrew Benintendi real soon.
But before that happens, we’ll see Matt Barnes pitch the bottom of the eighth.
Top 8th, 1-1: Jackie Bradley Jr. does it again, taking a 93 mph Jansen cutter and depositing into the stands for a solo homer. Just another two-out RBI for JBJ, his 10th of the postseason.
Alex Cora can still do no wrong.
Top 8th, Dodgers 1-0: After getting Holt to fly out to left, Jansen gets Devers chasing at some high cheddar for the second out of the inning.
End 7th, Dodgers 1-0: Kemp grounds out to short to end the inning. But the Sox are down to their final six outs in this one.
At least they won’t have to deal with Buehler anymore, as closer Kenley Jansen is coming in. He had precisely zero two-inning saves during the regular season, but has 19 saves of six outs or more in his career.
Boston still has Andrew Benintendi on the bench waiting to get some hacks at some point, so this one could get interesting real quick.
Bottom 7th, Dodgers 1-0: Matt Kemp, who homered back in Game 1, will pinch hit for Buehler. He comes up with two out and Puig still on first.
Bottom 7th, Dodgers 1-0: Ryan Brasier has to be pretty miffed with home plate ump Ted Barrett right now. After getting squeezed on an extremely close pitch that could have (should have) been strike three on Puig, the Dodgers outfielder reached on an infield single to third.
Middle 7th, Dodgers 1-0: On his 108th pitch of the night, Buehler strikes out J.D. Martinez with a 98 mph fastball.
His night is likely over after seven masterful shutout innings. The rookie struck out seven, and threw four more pitches than any other starter has thrown this postseason.
The way Buehler has pitched, it wouldn’t have mattered what lineup Cora threw at him tonight (unless it was one with a DH). The good news is, it looks like he’s done for the night.
Top 7th, Dodgers 1-0: Buehler is back out for another inning. Against the heart of the Boston lineup.
Now’s the time for the Sox offense to do something.
End 6th, Dodgers 1-0: Bellinger pops out to Holt for the final out, and we’re heading to the seventh inning in Game 3.
Bottom 6th, Dodgers 1-0: With two outs, Manny Machado just roped a liner off the wall in left field. But he’s only on first base after loafing it down the line. He thought he had a homer, but the ball hit off the bottom of the wall instead.
What a dope. But he’s going to be extremely rich after this season.
Middle 6th, Dodgers 1-0: The Red Sox have no answer for Walker Buehler. He strikes out Betts looking to end the inning, his fifth strikeout of the game. He hasn’t allowed a hit since the third inning.
He’s up to 93 pitches, but should get at least one more inning.
Top 6th, Dodgers 1-0: In his first at-bat since striking out against the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALDS, Swihart check-swing grounds out to third for the second out of the inning.
Joe Kelly will be coming on for the Sox in the bottom of the inning. But first, an at-bat by Mookie.
Top 6th, Dodgers 1-0: Vazquez grounded out to second for the first out of the inning, and Blake Swihart now steps to the plate to hit for E-Rod.
End 5th, Dodgers 1-0: Rodriguez gets Pederson swinging at a slider low and inside to end the inning. Chances are we won’t be seeing any more of him tonight, with his spot in the lineup due up second in the Top of the 6th.
That closes the book on Porcello, who allowed just the one run off three hits and one walk while striking out five over his 4.2 innings.
Bottom 5th, Dodgers 1-0: Rick Porcello’s night is done. After striking out Buehler on a bunt attempt for the second out of the inning, Alex Cora pulls his starter for lefty Eduardo Rodriguez.
E-Rod now comes on to face Pederson, who homered off Porcello for the game’s only run, with Grandal on first after leading off the inning with a single.
Porcello threw just 61 pitches in his 4.2 innings, so there’s a good chance he’ll be available again out of the bullpen while the Sox are in Los Angeles.
Middle 5th, Dodgers 1-0: Another 1-2-3 inning for Buehler, his fourth of the night. In just five innings.
After fouling off 11 of Buehler’s pitches in the first inning, the Sox have fouled off just 11 pitches over the last four innings. Not a great night for the Boston offense so far.
Top 5th, Dodgers 1-0: Buehler is locked in. He just struck out Devers on four pitches, getting him to whiff at a high fastball (96 mph) for his fourth punch out of the night.
End 4th, Dodgers 1-0: Nice 1-2-3 inning for Porcello, who sandwiched a Bellinger strikeout between a pair of pop outs. He has just 54 pitches after four innings.
And dare I say it, but this one is moving rather quickly. You can now officially blame me when it doesn’t end until after 1 a.m.
Middle 4th, Dodgers 1-0: Nothin’ doing for the Red Sox, who go 1-2-3 after the Dodgers take their lead. J.D. Martinez struck out looking to end the frame, disagreeing with Ted Barrett on Buehler’s 98 mph fastball that ending his at-bat. The pitch was a little inside, but could have gone either way.
Buehler looks locked in, and was fired up after that punchout.
End 3rd, Dodgers 1-0: Turner followed up Pederson’s blast with a double to left field, but was stranded as Muncy flies out to Martinez to end the inning. But the Dodgers are on the board with the heart of Boston’s order coming up.
Bottom 3rd, Dodgers 1-0: Los Angeles strikes first, as Joc Pederson sends a hanging changeup into the stands in right field.
It wasn’t a great pitch by Porcello, and Pederson made him pay. Pederson now has four homers in six career starts. Maybe Dave Roberts should start him more often?
The Red Sox are 0-2 this postseason when their opponent scores first.
Bottom 3rd, 0-0: And Porcello makes quick work of his counterpart, striking Buehler out on three pitches for the second out of the inning.
Bottom 3rd, 0-0: Xander Bogaerts makes a great play for the first out of the inning, tracking down a sharp Taylor grounder deep in the hole and delivering a Jeter-esq throw to get him at first.
Now Porcello faces Buehler with no one on.
Middle 3rd, 0-0: No two-out RBI for the Red Sox this time. Mookie gets under the first pitch he sees, and flies out to deep left-center. Sox run into an out and leave a runner on in the inning, and the game remains scoreless.
Boston is now 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position and two out this series.
Top 3rd, 0-0: Porcello gets the bunt down and Vazquez moves to second base with two outs and the top of the order coming up.
Top 3rd, 0-0: Nice at-bat by Vazquez, who ropes a single to left on the eighth pitch of his at-bat. His liner bounced in front of Pederson in left and then got by him, but Vazquez is as slow as molasses and wasn’t able to get to second.
That’s sets up a sac bunt opportunity for Porcello. But maybe he’ll get to swing on account of his 3-for-7 at the plate during the regular season.
Top 3rd, 0-0: Bradley didn’t stay on base for very long. He was picked off before Buehler even threw a pitch to Christian Vazquez.
That pick off matches the total number of times Bradley was picked off during the regular season.
Top 3rd, 0-0: Of course Jackie Bradley Jr. gets Boston’s first hit. JBJ hit a sharp grounder up the middle and beat out Turner’s throw.
End 2nd, 0-0: Porcello has a 1-2-3 inning of his own, needing just 10 pitches to retire the side. He got Grandal looking to end it for his second punchout of the game. He’s got 29 pitches through two innings, 19 of which have gone for strikes.
Middle 2nd, 0-0: Much more economical inning for Buehler, who needed just 13 pitches to retire the Sox in order.
Martinez grounded out to second, Holt grounded out to the catcher (which ended up being much closer than it had to be at first thanks to a bad grip by Grandal), and Devers grounded out to first. Sox are still looking for their first hit and first base runner of the game.
End 1st, 0-0: Manny Machado wasn’t waiting around, swinging at the first pitch he saw from Porcello. He hit a sharp grounder to Devers at third, who went to second for the force out on Muncy.
Muncy had an extremely aggressive slide into second and made contact with Holt, which prompted a quick glance from the Boston second baseman. But Muncy apologized and after a brief chat, Holt gave him a quick slap on the backside. Guess it’s all good between the two.
But Muncy should still keep his head up if Joe Kelly gets in the game later.
Bottom 1st, 0-0: We have our first base runner of the game, as Max Muncy works a six pitch walk with two outs.
Porcello is up to 19 pitches for the inning.
Bottom 1st, 0-0: Getting Turner out was much easier for Porcello. He got the Dodgers third baseman to fly out to center on the third pitch of his at-bat.
Bottom 1st, 0-0: The Dodgers are making Rick Porcello work too. Joc Pederson struck out to lead off the game for L.A., but Porcello had to throw nine pitches to get that K.
Middle 1st, 0-0: The Red Sox go 1-2-3 in the top of the first, as Mitch Moreland flies out to right to end the frame. But Moreland worked an eight-pitch at-bat, and Buehler needed 26 pitches to get through the inning.
The Dodgers rookie was throwing gas, hitting the high 90s and even 100 mph on occasion, and hitting his spots. But the Sox fouled off 11 pitches during the inning. If they can make Buehler work like all night, he won’t be out there too long.
Top 1st, 0-0: Bogaerts also made Buehler work, but his battle also ended with a strikeout. Xander fouled off five straight pitches in his 10-pitch at-bat, but struck out swinging at a 95 mph cutter.
Top 1st, 0-0: Mookie fell behind 0-2 before working the count full, but he struck out looking on Buehler’s eighth pitch of the at-bat — a 99 mph fastball.
The rookie has the gas going early on. At least Betts made him work for that K after falling behind early.
8:04 p.m.: Lasorda cruised in on a bullpen cart and fired off the first pitch. He was joined by Magic Johnson during the ceremony, who was introduced as “a man who knows a thing or two about beating Boston.”
7:59 p.m.: Brad Paisley is done with the national anthem, and we’re inching closer to first pitch.
All that’s left now is Tommy Lasorda throwing out the first pitch. Hopefully Fletch isn’t watching (I hear he has a great dislike for Tommy Lasorda). If you don’t know who Fletch is, you need to watch more movies.
7:50 p.m.: The Red Sox are now being introduced, and are receiving a warm greeting from L.A. fans. Weird. You wouldn’t know the Dodgers are down 2-0 in the series.
7:40 p.m.: If you thought beer prices as Fenway were a little much, here’s what they doll out in L.A. for a brew:
6:35 p.m.: While Eovaldi has been announced as Boston’s Game 4 starter, that doesn’t mean we won’t see him as a reliever tonight.
Cora said we could see Eovaldi help build the bridge to Craig Kimbrel once again if he’s needed. The righty said he’d still be up for a start tomorrow even if he pitches this evening, but that will not be the case.
“I feel like I would. I don’t know if they’re going to,” said Eovaldi. “They said that if I am in the game tonight, then I would not start tomorrow.”
“We’ll talk about that after the game, see how he feels, but probably not. Probably not,” Cora said of the scenario. “If he pitches today, it’s very similar to Chris [Sale] in New York in Game 4 that we were up by three, I think, going into the 8th and we feel that he can pitch that inning, keep it that way and then we go to the next guy and close it.
“It’s still baseball. You never know, a walk, a hit and a tie game, but it’s a chance we’re taking. And if he pitches today, most likely he won’t pitch tomorrow,” said the manager.
One thing we do know is that Milton native Rich Hill will get the nod for the Dodgers in Game 4.
5:45 p.m.: Alex Cora spoke about what went into his decision to keep Bradley Jr. in over Benintendi, and a lot of it has to do with J.D. Martinez playing the field.
“As far as matchups, for what we have information-wise, there’s no big difference. Maybe Beni has the edge. But Jackie’s defense with J.D. in left field, it makes sense for us,” explained Cora. “Also we keep Beni on the bench, we have our lefties playing. We’ve got Mitch and Brock and Rafy. So we kept that bat on the bench and I think he’ll show up in the middle of the game. It’s a good matchup for us against a righty or lefty. We feel comfortable with his bat. He can pinch-run, he can come in and play defense.
“There’s a lot of stuff that went on, but it’s simple: Keep the big boy in left field and have Jackie play left-center and center field, help him out,” said Cora.
So there you have it. Bradley Jr. is in to play center AND help J.D. out in left. He won’t be Kelly Leak-ing it all game, but don’t be surprised if JBJ fields a few balls that Martinez probably should have.
The move does make sense though if you’ve been scratching your head about Benintendi sitting. This way, Betts can remain in right and Cora isn’t moving two guys around the outfield.
5:05 p.m.: And we have a Dodgers lineup as well. Lots of changes, with an slew of lefties back in the lineup with righty Rick Porcello on the hill.
1. Joc Pederson, LF
2. Justin Turner, 3B
3. Max Muncy, 1B
4. Manny Machado, SS
5. Cody Bellinger, CF
6. Yasiel Puig, RF
7. Yasmani Grandal, C
8. Chris Taylor, 2B
9. Walker Buehler, P
This is the first start of the series for Pederson, Muncy and Grandal.
4:45 p.m.: Boston’s lineup is out, and J.D. Martinez is good to go. He’ll be batting cleanup and playing left field in Game 3.
But with Jackie Bradley Jr. getting the starting nod in center and Mookie Betts in right, that means Andrew Benintendi is starting this one on the bench. Not who I would have expected to start this one in the dugout, but In Cora We Trust. JBJ will probably go out and mash three homers and make a pair of highlight catches.
With righty Walker Buehler on the mound for L.A., Mitch Moreland gets the start over Steve Pearce at first base. Brock Holt is also in the lineup, batting fifth and playing second in place of Ian Kinsler:
1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Xander Bogaerts, SS
3. Mitch Moreland, 1B
4. J.D. Martinez, LF
5. Brock Holt, 2B
6. Rafael Devers, 3B
7. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
8. Christian Vazquez, C
9. Rick Porcello RHP
It’s interesting that Benintendi is starting on the bench, but there’s a good chance he’ll find his way into the game at some point. It’s no sure thing that Martinez is able to go all nine with his bad ankle, so Benny could get in at any time.
The Red Sox also announced that Nathan Eovaldi will start tomorrow night’s Game 4.
12:30 p.m.: The World Series has shifted to Los Angeles, with the Boston Red Sox looking to take a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Dodgers Friday night.
Things will obviously be much warming now that the series is out west. Gone are the frigid temps of Boston, as it will be in the low 80s when Game 3 gets underway.
Rick Porcello is on the hill for Boston, as he looks to bounce back from a rough start against the Astros in the ALCS. The righty was 10-3 on the road this season, and he may even do some damage at the plate tonight. Porcello was 3-for-7 in his Interleague at-bats during the regular season, including a big swing against Washington ace Max Scherzer, clubbing a three-run double off of him in July.
He’ll be opposed by Los Angeles rookie Walker Buehler. The 24-year-old righty was filthy to close the regular season, going 4-1 with a 1.58 ERA in August and September, striking out 80 in 68.1 innings. But he’s struggled this postseason, allowing 10 earned runs in his 16.1 innings. He gave up five runs over five innings in an NLDS start against Atlanta, and took the loss in Game 3 against the Brewers in the NLCS when he surrendered four runs over seven innings (the Dodgers were shut out in that game). He only gave up one run in his Game 7 start against Milwaukee, but was lifted in the fifth inning after giving up a double in a 2-1 game.
Now the rookie has to face a Red Sox offense that is making the most of their opportunities this postseason. Boston has outscored their opponents by 27 runs this postseason, and if there are runners on with two outs, chances are they’ll be crossing home. The Red Sox are hitting .415 and slugging .756 with runners in scoring position and two outs, the highest ever in postseason history. They’ve driven in 34 runs with two outs this postseason, the sixth-most in playoff history.
Of course the biggest question facing Alex Cora tonight is his lineup. The DH is gone, so J.D. Martinez will have to play the outfield — as long as his ankle allows him. It’s the World Series, so chances are the ankle will have to fall off for Martinez to be out of the Boston lineup. That means someone else in the outfield will have to sit.
Cora has been shooting down talk of Mookie Betts playing second base, and there is no way you can take Andrew Benintendi’s bat out of the lineup — or glove and ballerina moves out of the outfield. That leaves Jackie Bradley Jr. and his dazzling glove on the bench. We’ll see how Cora feels when the lineups are released later this afternoon.
Stick with CBSBoston.com for all the updates leading up to, during and after Friday night’s Game 3!