You'd be hard-pressed to find a pitcher who stood taller in defeat than the Red Sox' Nathan Eovaldi.
He entered the game in the bottom of the 12th and on his 97th pitch, a full-count offering to Max Muncy, he surrendered a walk-off home run to end the longest game in postseason history, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 victory in Game 3 that cut the Sox' World Series lead to two games to one.
After pitching the eighth inning to preserve leads in the first two games of the Series, Eovaldi was the scheduled Game 4 starter. Instead, he became Boston’s record-tying ninth pitcher and the first reliever to throw 80-plus pitches in a World Series game since Greg Harris' 88-pitch relief stint for the Padres in 1984.
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"Coming out of the pen, especially in this situation, it's one inning at a time," Eovaldi said after the 7-hour, 20-minute marathon game, the longest in both time and innings in Series and MLB postseason history.
He won't start Game 4, but will Eovaldi volunteer to pitch again Saturday?
“Absolutely,” Eovaldi said.
His manager called it one of the best performances in World Series history.
What Nate did tonight," Alex Cora said, "that was amazing."
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“That was the last inning [for him] right there,” said Cora, who had lefty Drew Pomeranz warmed up and ready to pinch hit for Eovaldi if it went to the 19th. “When he came in, I asked him, ‘How do you feel?’ He’s like, ‘Let me finish it.’ And I’m like, ‘OK.’ I don’t know if I told him, ‘You’ve got one more.’”
Red Sox Game 3 starter Rick Porcello, who threw 61 pitches in 4 2/3 innings, was in awe.
“I felt privileged to be able to watch what Nathan Eovaldi did,” Red Sox Game 3 starter Rick Porcello said. “That was the most incredible pitching performance I’ve ever seen.”
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“After the game was over I started crying,” Porcello said. “He literally gave everything he had on every single pitch.”
An Associated Press report is included in this story.
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