Boston Red Sox

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

It’s the 2018 World Series.

In other words, if you’re not expecting to commit yourself to about four hours of baseball, you’re not ready for this.

But I’m not sure the human brain is meant to handle seven hours and 20 minutes of 2018 Major League Baseball.

These thoughts that crossed my mind over that stretch — one that ended with the Red Sox on the wrong end of an 18-inning affair at Dodger Stadium — are proof that no, no it is not.

1. Nothing to show for it, but that was one hell of a top half of the first inning for the Boston Red Sox. They made Walker Buehler work like hell for his outs (25 pitches), and by this rate, he’ll be lucky to make it out of the fifth inning.

Also: Not a big ‘umpires are terrible’ guy, but this strike zone is awfully wide and real inconsistent.

2. Just one mistake from Rick Porcello on a cupcake changeup and it’s out of the ballpark. Joc Pederson puts the Dodgers on the board in the bottom of the third. With two outs, too. This looms large as Buehler finishes his night with seven strong innings of shutout ball while Porcello was lifted for the Boston bullpen after just 4.2 innings and just 61 pitches.

3. In a one-run game and with his team down in the series 2-0, Manny Machado just pimped a sixth-inning single that should have been a double. Congratulations in advance to the team that falls over themselves to hand him a $300 million check this winter. Machado is easily one of the most unlikable players in baseball, too, so… New York Yankees?

4. I’ve had this theory that it’s always Jackie Bradley Jr. at the plate in big moments. This used to be a theory that led to a complaint when Bradley struck out or popped up to end the rally. This postseason has been different, though, or at least it was in the Red Sox-Astros series. And sure enough, it’s JBJ at the plate in the top of the eighth inning with the Red Sox down by one and going against Kenley Jansen. And oh my, JBJ has just tied this game up. Jacktoberfest rides!

Naturally, this came with two outs in the inning. They’re taking this whole ‘Do Damage’ thing beyond seriously.

Oct 26, 2018; Los Angeles, CA: Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the eighth inning in game three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

Oct 26, 2018; Los Angeles, CA: Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the eighth inning in game three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

5. David Price in to pitch the ninth inning. This dude is two days removed from straight-up dealing in Game 2. Apparently he texted Alex Cora to let him know he was available tonight if needed. Is there anybody that’s had a postseason that’s changed the public perception and narrative like Price has in 2018? I honestly don’t think there’s even a close comparable.

Price doesn’t finish the inning, but he does get the Red Sox out of some serious trouble with a tremendous move that gets Cody Bellinger caught in a pickle between first and second and eventually tagged out after some light suicides.

Pickles were easily the most fun you ever had at baseball practice, by the way, and I’m not sure there’s a close second. Pickles the food, however, are nasty garbage. Eat a pickle around me and I’m calling the police. Try me, you coward.

6. Umpires are terrible, Mary Hart is a nightmare, and we’re like four innings away from Larry King dying of natural causes.

7. Red Sox are going for the kill in the top of the 10th here. Ian Kinsler in to pinch run for J.D. Martinez. The night comes to an end for a hobbled Martinez after zero hits, three strikeouts, and a walk in five plate appearances.

Kinsler, meanwhile, nearly gets picked off at first (the Dodgers issued an unsuccessful challenge), and then almost gets thrown out at third as he nearly over-slides the base on a Brock Holt base hit. Still, the Red Sox manage to get Kinsler to third with one out in the inning, and Eduardo Nunez hits it to center field and Kinsler tries to score.

Bellinger guns him down at home with an absolute bullet. That was… questionable. You obviously gotta shoot your shot there, but that ball was not hit deep enough, and Kinsler is not exactly fast. Oh, and Postseason, Late-Game Midas JBJ was on deck.

Still, Alex Cora has made it known he’s an all-in man, and that was certainly an all-in kind of move.

8. Nate Eovaldi just ended the 12th inning with a 101 mile an hour heater through Justin Turner. This man is going to get paid this offseason. My hot take: Sox should be the ones to pay him. And more specifically, they should pay him to be their closer.

9. Top of the 13th– Brock Holt swipes second as the ball is in the dirt, and Nunez trips over the catcher trying to retrieve the ball as it glides away from home plate. Nunez, playing through an injured everything it seems, is down and struggling. The Red Sox are legitimately out of bench options, by the way, so if he’s done, that means Chris Sale or Drew Pomeranz are coming into the game to play a position. It’s officially Weird Baseball Time. But Nunez stays in and turns an infield single into an RBI on a wild throw to first base. Nunez slides headfirst into first base on the play and is down and hurt again. He’s laying there smiling.

Oh my God, it might actually be Sale The Position Player time.

Chaos aplenty, and Red Sox officially have their first lead of the game, but Nunez is staying in.

Oct 26, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Eduardo Nunez (bottom) is checked on by a trainer and manager Alex Cora (left) in the 13th inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

10. Bottom of the 13th– Max Muncy gets a walk on an absolutely failed check swing. Alex Cora’s screaming at the third base umpire, but he insists he wasn’t even close and tells Cora and the Red Sox dugout to settle down. You would really, really hate to see what had been 12 and a half innings of clean, dramatic baseball spoiled by a blown call.

Nunez, on a bum everything, chases down a foul ball and catches it. But he apparently can’t stop and goes ass-first into the Dodger Stadium stands. This allows Muncy to advance to second, but the Dodgers are down to their final out.

Yasiel Puig with a ground ball off Nate Eovaldi to Kinsler, but Kinsler fumbles it and completely misses first base. Tied up.

First of all, what the hell.

Second of all, how dare you not respect sleep.

Almost everything about this inning feels unnecessary. I’m still not sure that Nunez, even with all those cool-ass style points he just got for outdoing Derek Jeter going into the Yankee Stadium stands in ’04, needed to go flying into the stands (which allowed Muncy to advance). And holy smokes did Kinsler force a play to first sooner than he had to and make things worse by actually throw it. This guy was a Gold Glove nominee? For this year? You sure?

At this point, I’m half-convinced Kinsler is actively trying to sabotage his own team.

And I’m completely convinced that I’m going to see the sun before I see a final result to this game.

Chaos.

11. I will pay $500 for a robot to sit behind the catcher right now. Umpires are beyond terrible. They are criminals.

Mookie Betts is rung up on called strike three that painted the corner (of Anaheim).

And here’s the problem with games with this inconsistent a strike zone: You naturally want to tell guys that they have to swing on borderline pitches when they’re down in a two-strike count. But when it’s this straight-up wild, you have to swing at everything. You saw it with Sandy Leon, and now you’re seeing it with Betts. It is downright infuriating.

But beyond my plan to send the umpires to a labor camp (I’m happy they had to stand for seven hours without a bathroom break and meal), credit to the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda, who first got the Dodgers out of trouble when he successfully went to third when the Sox tried to put down a bunt with no outs and men on first and second.

12. Max Muncy just hit to the moon and wrapped it around the foul pole on the way. This game is over and life is pointless. Never mind, it’s foul. Life’s cool. And instead of the game-ending homer, Muncy strikes out. Eovaldi is officially a deity.

Chaos.

13. Nunez is a madman and is stumbling over the pitching mound on catches now. Gotta respect his commitment to actually dying tonight. Also: It’s 2:52 a.m. and nobody wants to get on base with anything ‘cept a homer, so I’m pretty sure this is death. I wonder if my family decided I was to be eaten by worms inside an expensive box with needless padding or if they put me in a big pizza oven and are gonna keep me in a tumbler above the TV stand? Is my Twitter still verified even though I’m dead?

Oh my God, that reminds me — has anybody checked on Larry King?

14. The L.A. fans, those that remain anyway, are now giving themselves a standing ovation for lasting until midnight. “That’s cute,” I say to myself as the household cat has now discovered that I’m not in bed and is currently meowing and pawing at my face. Get the hell out of here, Rocksteady. (But really, thank you for making sure I’m not dead.)

Bonus shoutout to Eovladi, who snared a grounder destined towards Kinsler at second. Pretty sure Kinsler would have grabbed it and thrown the ball towards the outfield because why the hell not? I’m cringing any time this man does anything right now.

15. Why is Clayton Kershaw on deck? Oh my God, why is Clayton Kershaw batting? The National League sucks eggs.

I’m pretty sure I can taste my teeth right now, too. Can that happen? Should that happen?

16. Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, with two straight groundouts to short (the second of which resulted in an inning-ending double play), are now a combined 0-for-15. The Red Sox lifted Mitch Moreland and J.D. Martinez from this game about a moon ago. The switcheroos and everything else have essentially made these guys the heart of your order, and they are doing more than not showing up. They’re basically hanging out in the Chavez Ravine at this point. Tough to win when this is happening.

17. Fox definitely did not sell ad space for this late in the game. Nothin’ but 9-1-1 (is this a comedy… because I honestly can’t tell) and NFL on Fox ads for the next however long this goes. Not sure how much more of this I can actually do.

18: Aaaaaaand Muncy just ended this game. And I was this close to figuring out if 9-1-1 was a comedy. And your Would-Be Game 4 starter, Nate Eovaldi, takes the most undeserved loss in playoff history after 97 pitches and six-plus innings of work.

And now I’m too awake to fall asleep.

Chaos, as always, reigns.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 98.5 The Sports Hub. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.