LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brian Dozier swung bananas from a rope over the dugout railing.
How appropriate. The longest game in World Series history was bananas.
Twenty-three players on each team, including nine pitchers.
Eighteen innings — four more than any of the previous 662 World Series games.
Seven hours, 20 minutes — 1:39 longer than any Series game played before and 15 minutes more than all four games of the 1939 World Series combined.
Walker Buehler threw the first pitch in autumn twilight at 5:10 p.m.
Max Muncy homered on the 561st and last at 12:30 a.m., when most of America was asleep and even fans in Alaska and in Hawaii were struggling to stay up.
Ernie Banks would have been happy — the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox filled his oft-said desire: Let’s play two! “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was played twice, during the seventh-inning stretch and the 14th inning elongation.
“It was an amazing game,” Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig said. “I’m a little tired. But we’re ready to come back tomorrow.”
Then he looked at his watch and corrected himself.
“In a couple of hours,” Puig said.
Live from Hollywood: the Late Late Late Show: The Dodgers’ dramatic, draining, dizzying 3-2 victory Friday night cut their World Series deficit to 2-1.
“I think my beard got about 3 inches longer,” said Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, whose red whiskers already were Santa length.
Soccer ends after 120 minutes and is decided by penalty kicks.
Even Wimbledon is instituting fifth-set tiebreakers next year when tied 12-12 after John Isner’s 70-68 first-round triumph over Nicolas Mahut in 2010 and Isner’s 26-24 semifinal defeat to Kevin Anderson this year.
No U.S. major team sport DOUBLED the length of a game in its championship. Notably, a Boston team has been involved in the longest title match in all four of the major sports.
Only once has the Super Bowl gone to overtime, with only an extra 11:02 needed for New England’s win over Atlanta in 2017 .
There have been only two NBA Finals games needing the extra 15 minutes of three overtimes, Boston’s victory over Phoenix in 1976 and the Suns’ win over Chicago in 1993 . The longest Stanley Cup final matchup was Edmonton’s win over Boston in the 1990 opener, a three-overtime affair requiring an extra 55:13.
“You look up and see the 18th inning, and you’re like, holy cow, where did the game go?” Muncy said. “Those last nine innings or so just kind of blended together.”
The Dodgers munched on peanut butter and banana sandwiches provided by a team employee, and hung the bananas to produce fruitful luck — harkening back to the rally banana credited by Enrique Hernandez for helping end a 35-inning scoreless streak three years ago.
“You want to have fun with it,” said Rich Hill, the Dodgers scheduled Game 4 starter before a middle-of-the-night change to TBA to match Boston’s probable pitcher.
Clayton Kershaw, a three-time NL Cy Young Award winner with a .163 career batting average, pinch hit in the 17th inning and lined out.
“Starting pitchers are used to getting their spikes on, but nothing usually comes to fruition,” Kershaw said.
Muncy nearly won the game in the 15th inning, pulling a long drive off Nathan Eovaldi that hooked just to the foul side of the right-field pole . Eovaldi, Boston’s scheduled Game 4 starter, was starting his seventh inning of relief when Muncy hit an opposite-field drive to left-center for the Dodgers’ fourth World Series walkoff hit. He joined Cookie Lavagetto, whose double in 1947’s fourth game ended a no-hit bid by the Yankees’ Bill Bevens ; Jackie Robinson, whose 10th-inning single in 1956’s sixth game scored Jim Gilliam ; and Kirk Gibson, whose two-out, two-run pinch homer off Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley won the 1988 opener .
“All I know is we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves right now,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said.
Rookie right-hander Walker Buehler allowed two hits over seven shutout innings and left with a one-run lead provided by Joc Pederson’s third-inning homer off Rick Porcello.
Jackie Bradley Jr.’s eighth-inning homer against Kenley Jansen tied the score, Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger threw out Ian Kinsler at the plate in the 10th to keep the game going, the Red Sox went ahead on pitcher Scott Alexander’s throwing error in the 13th and the Dodgers tied it 2-2 on Kinsler’s two-out throwing error from second base in the bottom half .
After hitting .297 in winning the first two games at cozy, chilly Fenway Park, Boston was 5 for 57 at the plate in the warmth of Dodger Stadium— including 0 for 28 in the top four slots of the batting order.
“This was a gut-wrenching game for both sides,” Muncy said. “Their guys are banged up, our guys are banged up.”
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