After 18 innings, Max Muncy hits a walk-off home run to give the Dodgers their first win in the series.
LOS ANGELES — Spare me your excitement.
And please, no marveling over how the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Boston Red Sox, 3-2, in Game 3 of the World Series.
That is, assuming you were one of the superhuman who managed to keep your eyes open until the game finally ended in the bottom of the 18th inning at 3:29 a.m. ET Saturday.
At 7 hours 20 minutes, it was the longest game in MLB postseason history. That’s nothing to celebrate, either, for a sport that used to be known for the cry of “Play ball,’’ but now requires a “Wake up!’’
To be sure, the purists and caffeine-infused were rewarded for their uber patience. While much of America slept, this is part of what they saw:
Walker Buehler, the Dodgers’ starting pitcher, was brilliant. Nathan Eovaldi, who pitched in relief for the Red Sox, was magnificent. And the game ended as classics often do.
Max Muncy, the Dodgers’ first baseman, blasted Eovaldi’s last pitch over the left field wall for the game-winning run. While 90 percent of America was probably asleep.
Even if all of America had been awake it, there would’ve been a serious problem for baseball.
As attention spans have shortened, the average duration of Major League Baseball game has lengthened — from 2 hours 27 minutes in 1972 to 3 hours 4 minutes in 2018. The marathon between the Dodgers and Red Sox only reinforced Major League Baseball’s albatross — long games, long season, long-overdue solutions unenacted.
Penalty kicks came to mind as the game dragged on, and is that any more ludricrous than thinking a pitch clock and limiting mound visits are viable solutions?
Some have discussed putting a runner on second base when each team comes to bat in extra innings. Nate Silver, the noted statistician, took it one step further during Game 3 via Twitter.
“Instead of putting a runner on 2nd to expedite the resolution of extra innings, gradually expand the amount of fair territory until all 360 (degrees) are in play and baseball becomes cricket,’’ he wrote.
No word if Silver was remotely serious, or watching when Muncy hit the game-winning home run. But a game that ended when most of America was asleep better serve as Major League Baseball’s latest wakeup call.
Follow Josh Peter on Twitter @joshlpeter11