Dodgers get new life with hard-earned victory in Game 3 marathon
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Tomorrow had already arrived at Chavez Ravine - and was well underway in Boston - by the time Max Muncy mercifully launched that fastball from Nathan Eovaldi, then in his seventh inning of relief, just over the wall in left field to lead off the bottom of the 18th inning, propelling the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox, ending the longest postseason game ever.

When Game 3 of the World Series started Friday afternoon, a veritable eternity before Muncy's walk-off oppo-taco, tomorrow was conceptually harrowing. Hypothetically, by tomorrow, the Dodgers - mired, as they were, in a 2-0 deficit in the World Series following two straight dismal efforts at Fenway Park - could be one loss away from the end of their season and another cataclysmic October failure.

But tomorrow arrived sooner than expected - in Los Angeles, Friday became Saturday toward the end of a largely agonizing seven-hour, twenty-minute odyssey that unfolded at Dodger Stadium - and the Dodgers hadn't yet resolved today. Over the course of the afternoon, evening, and night, much like in Game 2 in Boston, the Dodgers couldn't muster much offense in support of Walker Buehler, who stymied a potent Red Sox offense for seven innings, and were then mostly held in check by Boston's menagerie of relievers (plus a tireless Eovaldi), mustering only the timeliest of runs to even the score after the Red Sox took the lead in the top of the 13th inning.

Then, finally, after both teams had exhausted all their position players and a combined 18 pitchers had toed the rubber, Muncy - who narrowly missed a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 15th - stepped up and delivered one of the biggest home runs in baseball history. In between, as Dodgers utilityman Enrique Hernandez concisely put it, "a lot of weird shit happened." And now tomorrow is here, and the Dodgers have something they didn't have yesterday: hope.

"Well, all I know is we're feeling pretty good about ourselves right now, to have two more games at home," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters.

"I know it's a lot better feeling than we had after Game 1 and Game 2."

Their odds, to be sure, are still long - historically, teams that cut into a 2-0 deficit with a Game 3 victory go on to win the World Series roughly 29 percent of the time - but the Dodgers will at least send a trustworthy, healthy, and rested starter to the mound Saturday, be it Rich Hill, the likely candidate, or even Clayton Kershaw, who entered Friday's game as a pinch hitter but didn't throw a pitch. And their bullpen, despite tossing 11 innings, is actually in "good shape," according to Roberts, who should be able to turn to either Julio Urias or Alex Wood for length Saturday, if necessary.

The same can't necessarily be said on either front about the Red Sox, who burned Eovaldi - their tentative Game 4 starter - in relief Friday, and will either have to turn to Drew Pomeranz, the emergency left-hander who started warming late in Game 3, Eduardo Rodriguez, or Chris Sale, who has looked shaky in each of his last two starts and has done little to assuage concern over his health status. And their bullpen, which isn't as deep as the Dodgers', also shouldered a heavy load Friday, potentially putting manager Alex Cora in an awkward position should his starter falter early in Game 4.

So, with their deficit trimmed and a marginal edge on the mound Saturday, a comeback that seemed impossible 24 hours ago now merely seems improbable.

For the Dodgers to defy the dubious history, of course, and earn their spot among the celebrated minority of teams to come back from a 2-0 deficit in the World Series, these Red Sox would have to drop four out of five games or, even more improbably, four in a row. At no point during the regular season did the Red Sox - who arrived in Los Angeles following their Game 2 victory boasting a 9-2 record this October - lose four games in a row. Even with home-field advantage through the weekend, the Dodgers' task remains daunting. "It's gonna be hard," Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger admitted following his club's 4-2 loss in Game 2, and that's still very much the case.

At least, though, with a hard-earned victory in Game 3, the Dodgers may no longer see tomorrow as a threat. For now, at least, tomorrow is an opportunity to even this thing up and make it a series.

"Our focus is only on tomorrow," Roberts said early Saturday morning.

He then smiled and corrected himself.

"Our focus is on later today."

Jonah Birenbaum is theScore's senior MLB writer. He steams a good ham. You can find him on Twitter @birenball.

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Dodgers get new life with hard-earned victory in Game 3 marathon
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