Lots of headlines will represent the Dodgers’ 18th inning solo walk-off home run from Matt Muncey, and deservedly so.
However, someone get me a first Nathan Eovaldi jersey ASAP, because the pitcher who gave up the 18th inning home run is the kind of guy I want on my team.
Team player is an understatement
Bullpen pitchers throw a dozen or two pitches in an inning or two; Eovaldi threw 97 pitches in Game 3. That was six solid innings of pitching that were eclipsed by the deep shot Muncy in walk-off fashion.
That kind of effort really can’t be expected from a bullpen pitcher. Granted, Eovaldi was slated to start Game 4 originally (he will not).
One day of rest, that many pitches, and no real run support from his teammates? I’ll take a guy like that who wants to do all that he can for his team over most of the bigger pitching names out there.
Can’t blame Eovaldi
Sure, you could point to J.D. Martinez not being in the lineup in the later innings which could’ve been another bat to try to get the offense going.
You could blame Ian Kinsler’s error that some are saying cost Boston game 3 (he didn’t get in the game until the 10th inning).
Starter Ric Porcello’s 4 and 2/3 innings where he gave up three hits and a homer also put Boston in chase mode, making the pressure that much more intense.
However, it’s really doubtful Red Sox manager Alex Cora blamed any of those things, because Game 4 is in a couple of hours and the blame game has no winners.
Figuring out how to get some hits will be a good place to start; whoever is finalized as the Red Sox pitcher can also grab some inspiration from the six innings Eovaldi threw last night.
Either way, that kind of commitment and selflessness in a game doesn’t come around as much as it used to.
I’m no Red Sox fan by any means, and I also despise the Dodgers (Colorado Rockies fan right here); however, a tip of the cap to Eovaldi for his contribution to one of the wildest World Series games in recorded history is the least you can do as a baseball and/or sports fan.
Now I just have to figure out which Eovaldi to buy.