One of the craziest games in World Series history would not have been as crazy if not for the most inexplicable moment of a never-ending night. In its sixth hour, Ian Kinsler had the baseball in his glove, and then in his right hand, a 3-0 series lead one accurate throw away.
And he couldn’t make it.
ARE. YOU. SERIOUS.
Puig puts the ball in play, Kinsler misses the throw to 1st and Max Muncy scores to tie the game in the bottom of the 13th!!! pic.twitter.com/nS49fvMo0I
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) October 27, 2018
Kinsler stumbled, rushed, and threw the Boston Red Sox’s 2-1 13th-inning lead feebly past first baseman Christian Vazquez. Yasiel Puig was safe at first. Max Muncy scored from second. Five whole innings later, Muncy would win the game, and dig the Dodgers out of what was very nearly an oppressively deep hole.
And Kinsler knows he was in large part responsible for helping them dig out of it.
Kinsler feels ‘terrible’
“I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help this team win,” Kinsler said in the wee hours of the morning after Boston’s eventual 3-2 18-inning loss. “I feel terrible. I feel terrible for Nate [Eovaldi]. I feel like I let the team down right there.”
Eovaldi, who entered a 1-1 game in the 12th inning, was supposed to start Game 4 on Saturday. Instead, he took the ball in relief, hoping to bury the Dodgers while he could. And he very nearly did so. With the ball in Kinsler’s right hand, Eovaldi was in line for the win.
Instead, he had to chuck four-plus additional innings. He had to take a loss, despite many Red Sox players speaking of him as a hero postgame. And now, after throwing six-plus innings in all, he’ll be unavailable less than 17 hours later for Game 4.
Kinsler explains the error
Kinsler, of course, would love to have the play back. In hindsight, he likely had sufficient time to set his feet and make a more under-control throw. Nonetheless, it’s a play he makes nine times out of 10.
Here’s the 36-year-old second baseman’s version of what happened in those fateful few seconds:
“I lost my footing a little bit. I was trying to keep the ball in with a guy on second base, try not to let that ball go up the middle. I over-ran it a little bit and then when I planted to turn to throw, the turf kind of gave way in the act of throwing and just sailed it wide. I just had the last out in my glove and couldn’t get it over there. It was tough to swallow.”
Kinsler had also been thrown out at home attempting to score on a sacrifice fly with two outs in the top of the 10th.
The sheer lunacy of the game will, at least in part, overshadow the error. But if the Dodgers come back from 2-0 down to win the series, Kinsler’s mistake will be remembered as one of the most pivotal moments of a suddenly wild World Series.
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