The Dodgers and Red Sox essentially played two games that started Friday night and ended early Saturday morning. Ultimately the Dodgers won in the 18th inning.
The Dodgers won a marathon game three on Friday night/Saturday morning and although the Dodgers still have work to do, this was the type of win that could swing the momentum of the series. The Dodgers wore through the Red Sox bullpen and made the Red Sox use their projected game four starter Nathan Eovaldi for six innings.
In a game eighteen innings long, there were plenty of memorable moments and stellar performances but here are the unsung heroes of the game:
Walker Buehler: It feels weird stating that Walker Buehler is an unsung hero of the Dodgers’ eighteen inning victory but that’s exactly what he is. Although it felt like it was part of an entirely different game, Walker Buehler pitched seven shutout innings to begin the marathon. Buehler allowed just two hits while striking out seven Red Sox batters and walked none.
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Buehler is starting to build the reputation of being a big game pitcher despite only being a rookie. Walker started game seven of the NLCS and kept the Brewers in check and now he pitched a must win game in the World Series and dominated the Red Sox. If the series goes seven games it will be Walker Buehler who is once again thrust into the spotlight.
Cody Bellinger: It’s tough to be an unsung hero when you go 1-7 at the plate and are batting .100 in the World Series, but that is exactly what Cody Bellinger is. Bellinger saved the game in the top of the tenth inning when he gunned out Ian Kinsler at home to get Pedro Baez out of a jam with runners on the corners and one out.
Like Buehler, Cody Bellinger is starting to come up clutch when he is needed. In the NLCS, Bellinger had a walkoff hit, game saving catch in extra innings, and a go ahead home run in game seven. Even with a low batting average, Bellinger is a threat to go deep at any time and he has the speed and defense to change a game in multiple ways.
Dylan Floro, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urias, and Alex Wood: While the Dodger batters were trying to get to a dominant Nathan Eovaldi in extra innings, it was the combined effort of Floro, Maeda, Urias, and Wood that shut down the Red Sox in extra innings to keep the Dodgers alive until Max Muncy eventually delivered the walk-off homer. It wasn’t always pretty as the Red Sox had multiple chances to win the game, but these four relievers outlasted Eovaldi to keep the Dodgers World Series hopes alive.