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ALDS game 3 Diary: I Watched Over 5 Hours of Baseball for That Ending?

Red Sox win in 13 innings after controversial call costs Rays a run late.

Division Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox - Game Three Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Lineups are set and the series is tied 1-1. Let’s see who emerges with the lead after Game 3.

1st Inning

Wander Franco gets on base with a one out single. He just continues to get on base game after game after game.

Up next came Austin Meadows who has had some great success in his career against Nathan Eovaldi. The favorable matchup continues.

It’s a 2-0 lead but after Game 2 it’s hard to get too excited with the whole game still ahead.

The cautious optimism became more cautious after Kyle Schwarber launched Drew Rasmussen’s second pitch of the game over the Green Monstrosity to make it a 2-1 game.

Next up, Enrique Hernandez also crushed a pitch but this one hit off the wall for the single. Off the bat, I thought the game might have been tied with Rasmussen only facing too hitters and did not like it.

2nd Inning

Everything you need to know about the top of the second inning is that Bally Sports decided to send a celebratory tweet after a Mike Zunino strikeout. Sure he worked an 11-pitch at-bat but aside from that and an earlier Kevin Kiermaier walk, it was the Nathan Eovaldi show. So far he has recorded all six of his outs through strikeouts.

J.D. Martinez hit a single that got past Joey Wendle. Instead of advancing any further, Franco was doing Franco things and got the 6-4-3 double play started.

Game remains 2-1 after two innings.

3rd Inning

Nothing like a Schwarber error to start the inning with Brandon Lowe on base.

Unfortunately, Franco grounded into a forceout getting Lowe out at second and a Meadows flyout and Nelson Cruz strikeout ends the top-half of the inning.

This team needs to take advantage of opportunities and score some more runs if they want to win this game.

Rasmussen did his best impression of a dating app in the bottom of the third the way Red Sox hitters were connecting for singles. Christian Arroyo, Schwarber, and Hernandez all reached safely resulting in Arroyo scoring and tying the game at two. That also was Rasmussen’s last pitch of the game.

Josh Fleming came in for the Rays and he gave up a single to Rafael Devers scoring Schwarber to give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead.

Fleming was able to stop the bleeding and record two outs to complete his three-batter minimum. Andrew Kittredge came in to face J.D. Martinez and got him to strike out to end the inning.

The Red Sox lead by one so now the cautious optimism is for a comeback instead of preserving the lead.

4th Inning

Schwarber makes a routine toss to Eovaldi at first and everyone is so excited in Fenway that he tops his cap and some in the crowd tipped their caps back to him.

An Arozarena strikeout and Kiermaier lineout would complete the 1-2-3 inning for Eovaldi.

Kittredge was back on the mound in the fifth for the Rays and he made it out without allowing any additional runs to score. After giving up a single to Renfroe he got Kevin Plawecki to ground into a double play (Thank you Wander!). Boston got another baserunner with a single but a strikeout to Schwarber ended the inning.

Game remains a 3-2 Red Sox lead. A one run deficit with more than half the game to go is still anyone’s to win.

5th Inning

Finally, the offense shows some signs of life with a Joey Wendle double to left field.

A lineout from Lowe and a groundout from Franco left Wendle stranded on base. The optimism is beginning to fade on this game if the offense doesn’t start producing.

Pete Fairbanks came in to pitch for the Rays in the bottom of the fifth and fans were hoping to see Kittredge remain in the game after throwing only 16 pitches. Those feeling that way probably felt justified after Hernandez launched a homer off Fairbanks to extend the Red Sox lead to 4-2.

Hernandez is just on a streak that is out of this world.

Fairbanks would only allow a walk for the remainder of the inning but the Rays are down two and running out of outs. Thankfully, it would be easy for this deficit to be by a lot more the way the Red Sox have continued to hit.

Meanwhile at the Rays watch party...

6th Inning

It’s still a two-run game so it just takes a little spark to change this thing.

Nelson Cruz hit a single and Arozarena came up to the plate with two outs and the change to tie the game with one swing. Somehow he gets offered a fastball over the heart of the plate and gets weak contact to groundout and end the inning. This is the type of pitch Randy crushes and should add to the legend that is playoff Randy but instead the game is headed to the bottom of the sixth with Rays still trailing by 2.

Red Sox leadoff hitters are feasting in the game like the Rays pitchers are running a buffet. Renfroe’s single in the sixth inning off J.P. Feyereisen made it a perfect 6-for-6 in the leadoff slot in tonight’s game.

A sacrifice bunt from Christian Vazquez moved Renfroe to second but Feyereisen got Arroyo and Schwarber to both groundout to get out of the inning still trailing by 4-2.

7th Inning

Ryan Brasier continues in the game from the sixth inning and gets the first two Rays hitters out by getting Kiermaier to strikeout and Zunino to groundout. That ended Brasier’s night as the Red Sox brought in Austin Davis to try to get the final out of the top of the seventh leaving Red Sox fans concerned.

Kevin Cash and the Rays counter Davis entering the game by pinch-hitting Jordan Luplow in place of Joey Wendle. Luplow walked on four pitches bringing Brandon Lowe to the plate as a potential hero.

I should feel more excited but Brandon Lowe in the postseason doesn’t give me a lot of hope. As expected, he hits a lineout for the third out.

Matt Wisler in for the Rays in the bottom of the seventh and he faces Hernandez.

Wisler does it! He gets the leadoff hitter out! It doesn’t count for a run but it brings hope!

Wisler got out of the inning only throwing five more pitches thanks to some help from the defense. Specifically, Austin Meadows making an incredible catch to get Xander Bogaerts out on a line drive that was 108.6 exit velocity and a XBA of .750.

8th Inning

Running out of outs to comeback but still have hope in the late-inning potential of this Rays offense in a two-run game with Franco leading off.

Wander launches one over the wall and it’s a one-run game!

Austin Meadows comes through with his second double of the game and advanced to third on a Cruz groundout. Margot replaced Meadows as a pinch runner and scored on an Arozarena double to tie the game!

Let’s open our happy box!

Kiermaier intentionally walked and a Zunino strikeout ends the inning but this game is tied!

Okay, the top of the inning was fun but the pitching and defense have to do their job too. Cautious optimism is starting to creep back in a little bit.

Alex Verdugo hits a line drive off Wisler but Kiermaier is there for the catch. That’s it for Wisler as J.T. Chargois comes in.

Chargois gets Martinez out, walks Renfroe, and ends the inning getting Vazquez out. We are on to the ninth tied 4-4.

9th Inning

Alright, it’s the top of the ninth and the game is tied. Time to get a run on the board to feel good about heading into the bottom of the ninth with the Red Sox top of the order about to come back up.

Unfortunately, Garrett Whitlock had different plans and he retired the side in order with a strikeout to Luplow, strikeout to Lowe and getting Franco to groundout.

To the bottom of the ninth we go.

Chargois still on the mound for the Rays. Leadoff batter is Arroyo and he grounds out to third.

This is good.

Schwarber is up and he hits a single putting the go-ahead run on base with Hernandez up.

This is not good

Hernandez strikes out! This is very good.

Devers grounds out to second! We are heading into extra innings!

Salute to Chargois for delivering when needed the most!

10th Inning

Nick Pivetta in to pitch for the Red Sox. He was originally slated to be the Game 4 starter but the Rays comeback has changed those plans.

Margot leadsoff with a base hit and we have the go-ahead baserunner on board. Nelson Cruz follows but he hits a deep out to Hernandez and Margot remains at first with one out. Diaz also hit a fly ball to the outfield for an out leaving Margot at first bringing Arozarena to the plate.

Margot attempts to steal second and is called out after coming off the bag. Replay officials confirm the call although it looked very close. To the bottom of the 10th we go, hoping for an 11th.

David Robertson is on for the Rays in the bottom of the tenth and gets Bogaerts to groundout. Verdugo gets on with a single to increase the stress.

J.D. Martinez absolutely crushes a ball that the Fenway crowd reaction says they thought was a no doubt homer but it falls just short into Kiermaier’s glove. Renfroe follows with an infield pop up to send the game to the 11th.

11th Inning

Arozarena gets on base with a leadoff walk off Nick Pivetta. Kiermaier worked an 11-pitch at-bat. On the 11th pitch Kiermaier struck out but Arozarena stole second to put a runner in scoring position with one out.

Pivetta found his groove and finishes three straight strikeouts after getting Zunino and Luplow.

Robertson still on for the Rays in the bottom of the 11th. After Arroyo gets a double with one out things start to get anxious again.

Robertson gets Dalbec to strikeout brining Hernandez to the plate with the moment to be a hero. Instead he hits a grounder to Franco who bounces throw to first base where Luplow makes a great grab to take us to the 12th!

12th Inning

Pivetta still in a groove and retires the Rays in order.

This game is now approaching five hours in length.

Luis Patino came in for the Rays in the bottom of the 12th which means I have no clue who I think is pitching in the first inning tomorrow but at this point tonight is all that matters.

He came through big too retiring Devers, Bogaerts, and Verdugo in order. We are headed to the 13th inning. If you’re still here with me 1800 words into this diary, bless you.

13th Inning

Privetta still on the mound for the Red Sox. Yandy Diaz hits a single to give the Rays a baserunner.

Kevin Kiermaier comes up later and hits what should have been a go-ahead run but the ball bounces off the wall, off Renfroe, and over the wall. After review it’s determined to be a ground-rule double and despite Diaz approaching third when it goes over they place him back at third base and do not count the run which is outrageous.

With what should have been a Rays lead taken away, Zunino comes to the plate and strikes out.

Patino still on for the Rays in the bottom of the 13th. After getting the first out he walks Renfroe and brings Vazquez to the plate. And then this happens...

Red Sox lead series 2-1 after winning 6-4 tonight.

We shall see what Game 4 brings tomorrow.