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Saturday Sports: This Segment Won't Be 18 Innings Long


And it's time for sports.


SIMON: The art of fiction is dead. By the time our crew began to get up for work today, the longest game in World Series history was still going on. Eighteen innings, seven hours, 20 minutes - that's longer than the playing time of the entire 1939 World Series. And the Los Angeles Dodgers won 3-2, a walk-off homer by Max Muncy in the bottom of the 18th. Tom Goldman joins us. Tom, are you there, man? Are you there? Are you awake?

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Yeah, no, I'm here. I'm here.

SIMON: Oh, my word. What a game.

GOLDMAN: Unbelievable. I watched all of it - well, kind of all of it. I watched - you know, there were some times maybe from innings 14 through 17 when I took a little doze here and there. But in general, it was absolutely riveting and stunning.

SIMON: Eighteen pitchers used, including, by the way, Clayton Kershaw - arguably the best pitcher on the field, although not last night - as a pinch hitter. He didn't even throw the ball. Is anybody left to throw the game tonight?

GOLDMAN: (Laughter) Well, the Dodgers have named a starting pitcher, Rich Hill. After the game, Red Sox manager Alex Cora still hadn't decided who he's starting later today in Game 4. He had used up pretty much everyone as part of his win now philosophy, and that includes Nathan Eovaldi, Scott - six innings in relief. He threw just shy of 100 pitches. He was brilliant. And, of course, Max Muncy ruined it for him.

SIMON: And the Dodgers' Walker Buehler - we got to say Bueller, Bueller. My gosh, was he brilliant.

GOLDMAN: (Laughter) This was two games. You know, it literally was two nine-inning games. And for the first game, Walker Buehler was the star. He threw seven innings. He was given the ball and asked to basically save the Dodgers' season because if the Dodgers had gone down 3-0, no team has ever come back in the World Series from a 3-0 deficit. Walker Buehler goes out. He throws seven innings, holds the mighty Red Sox lineup to two hits. He was fantastic. He turned the ball over after the seventh inning to Kenley Jansen, their great reliever, and had he not given up a home run to Boston, it would have been just kind of a normal win with Walker Buehler being the star of the night.

SIMON: Does LA now have anything left in the tank to win?

GOLDMAN: Yeah, that's a good question to ask either of these teams, Scott, because they both put absolutely everything and more into this game. LA won, and so they're feeling really good about that but - you know, going into Game 4. But both teams are stocked with professional baseball players. They'll figure out a way to, you know, to win for their teams. And if we predict something now, it will inevitably be wrong. So the one thing we can say, we've got a series now, and it's fun.

SIMON: Tom Goldman, thanks so much.

GOLDMAN: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tom Goldman is NPR's sports correspondent. His reports can be heard throughout NPR's news programming, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and on NPR.org.
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