October 26, 2018, five years ago today: The longest game in World Series history, as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 in Game 3 on an 18th-inning walk-off solo home run by Max Muncy. The 561-pitch Dodger Stadium marathon lasted seven hours and 20 minutes, 15 minutes longer than all four games of the 1939 World Series combined. But the magic wore off quickly for L.A. Two nights later, the Red Sox would end it with a 5-1 victory in Game 5, giving them their fourth World Series title in 15 years. Including the postseason, Boston won 119 games in 2018.
Any way you look at it, the length of the game shattered the previous World Series record. Three times there had been 14-inning games in the Fall Classic. The first one was, ironically, between the Dodgers and Red Sox. The Brooklyn Dodgers won 2-1 in marathon 102 years earlier. The others came this century: Game 3 in 2005 when the White Sox beat the Astros 7-5, and Game 1 in 2015 when the Royals topped the Mets 5-4.
The classic contest also obliterated the World Series record for game length by time—that 2005 White Sox-Astros contest had lasted five hours and 41 minutes. It surpassed the previous overall postseason mark of six hours and 23 minutes set in a 2014 NLDS game, an 18-inning 2-1 Giants win over the Nationals. A couple of other records: 18 total pitchers used (nine by each team) and 46 players overall.
Muncy had his stamp all over the Dodgers-Astros marathon. He scored on a throwing error in the 13th inning after the Red Sox had done the same thing in the top of the 13th. But it’s the home run that will be long remembered. Muncy joined Kirk Gibson (Game 1 in 1988), Jackie Robinson (Game 6 in 1956) and Cookie Lavagetto (Game 4 in 1947) as the only players in Dodgers history to have walk-off hits in the World Series. Muncy is still a Dodgers mainstay. He was their starting third baseman this year, hitting 36 homers and driving in a career-high 105 runs.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)