The Boston Red Sox are no stranger to clutch postseason moments since the turn of the century. One look at the opposing dugout in this World Series would serve as a reminder of that.
Looking back on history, Dave Roberts stealing second base off Mariano Rivera in the 9th inning of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS helped propel the Sox to come back from a 3-0 series deficit against the New York Yankees, and eventually to a World Series win that same season. In the same series, there was Curt Schilling’s bloody sock, and David Ortiz hitting extra-inning home runs in back-to-back games. Ortiz provided some more magic in Boston’s 2013 run to a World Series title, hitting a grand slam against Detroit in Game 2 of the ALCS to tie that game. In Game 6 of the Detroit series, Shane Victorino hit another grand slam to clinch the series for the Red Sox.
In a game heading into Saturday morning against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Nathan Eovaldi became the first reliever to pitch five innings in the World Series since Madison Bumgarner did it in 2014. In result, Eovaldi didn’t stop there, as he pitched 6 innings of three-hit baseball in Game 3.
Although Boston ended up losing 3-2, Eovaldi never seemed to want to stop. Bringing the heat all night, he threw 97 pitches in an 18-inning, seven-hour game and still managed to almost hit triple-digits on some occasions. The only pitcher left in the Boston bullpen at the end of the night was Drew Pomeranz, but he didn’t need to enter the game after Max Muncy hit the walk-off home run in the bottom of the 18th.
Nathan Eovaldi just threw his 90th pitch. His 90th!
He's tied the record for most pitches thrown in relief in a World Series game . Charlie Hough set that one in Game 5 of the 1978 WS. He threw knuckleballs. His team lost, 12-2.
So it wasn't this!
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) October 27, 2018
Nathan Eovaldi just threw a 99 mph fastball to Clayton Kershaw at 3:11 a.m. (Things I didn't think I would be tweeting when I woke up yesterday morning.)
— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) October 27, 2018
It was another classic performance added to recent Red Sox postseason history, and perhaps the top relief performance in World Series history. It is almost unfair that Eovaldi had to take the loss in this game; if anything that should go to Ian Kinsler. If Boston can hang on to win this series, Eovaldi’s performance will be one of the key moments to look back on. It may even be for a potential MVP nod after a tough loss in a game many thought would never end.
Featured Image: Boston Globe