It’s official: Game 3 of the 2018 World Series will go down in history as the longest postseason game to date. Following Jackie Bradley, Jr.’s game-tying home run in the eighth, the Dodgers and Red Sox battled through a scoreless ninth inning, then took the game all the way to the 17th to surpass the six-hour, 23-minute mark that was set in an 18-inning Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS.
Both teams had an opportunity to get ahead in the 13th. Scott Alexander issued a leadoff walk to Brock Holt in the top of the inning, then allowed a stolen base as Austin Barnes went scrambling after a pitch in the dirt. Eduardo Nuñez tried to get out of Barnes’ way, but was flipped onto his back and appeared to be injured as he stood to resume his at-bat. He grabbed onto a 1-0 slider and returned it to second base, where Alexander tossed it wide of first base and inadvertently allowed Holt to score the go-ahead run.
That is, it would have been the go-ahead run had it not been for Nuñez’s antics in the bottom of the inning. With Max Muncy standing on first, the third baseman chased after a foul pop-up and fell backwards into the stands. Muncy advanced to second, then came home to score as Yasiel Puig chopped a base hit up the middle and second baseman Ian Kinsler hurled it well past the bag. After some discussion over the legitimacy of the run scored — the Red Sox argued the ball was out of play after it ended up in the camera well — the initial call was upheld and the game was tied once more, 2-2.
Despite Muncy’s jaw-dropping fly ball that landed just foul of a walk-off home run, Game 3 is still tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 17th. And now there’s so much more at stake than the outcome of the World Series:
Won’t someone think of the Mets?
Just one week after Taylor Cole and Felix Peña tossed a combined no-hitter against Seattle, Mariners right-hander Mike Leake worked on his own perfect game through eight innings against the Angels.
It was an ambitious form of revenge, and one that Leake served up perfectly as he held the Angels scoreless in frame after frame. He sprinkled a handful of strikeouts throughout the first eight innings, catching Matt Thaiss on a called strike three in the third and getting two whiffs — called strikeouts against both Brian Goodwin and Shohei Ohtani — in the fourth.
The Mariners, meanwhile, put up a good fight against the Angels, backing Leake’s attempt with 10 runs — their first double-digit total since a 13-3 rout of the Orioles on June 23. Daniel Vogelbach led things off in the fourth with a three-run homer off of reliever Jaime Barria, then repeated the feat with another three-run shot off Barria in the fifth. Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford helped pad the lead as well with a two-RBI single and two-RBI double, respectively.
In the ninth, with just three outs remaining, the Angels finally managed to break through. Luis Rengifo worked a 1-1 count against Leake, then returned an 85.3-m.p.h. changeup to right field for a base hit, dismantling the perfecto and the no-hitter in one fell swoop. Leake lost control of the ball following the hit, issuing four straight balls to Kevan Smith in the next at-bat and giving the Angels their first runner in scoring position. Still at a pitch count of just 90, however, he induced the next two outs in quick fashion and polished off the win with a triumphant eight-pitch strikeout against Mike Trout for the first one-hitter (and Maddux) of his career.
Had Leake successfully closed out the perfecto, it would’ve been the first of his decade-long career in the majors and the first the Mariners had seen since Félix Hernández’s perfect game against the Rays in August 2012. For their part, the Angels have yet to be on the losing end of a perfecto. The last time they were shut out in a no-hitter was 1999, at the hands of then-Twins pitcher Eric Milton.