World Series 2018: Hurt by Game That Ended Past Midnight, Viewership for Dodgers’ Win Drops 15%

A fan rests during the 17th inning in Game 3 of the 2018 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 26, 2018. (Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

A fan rests during the 17th inning in Game 3 of the 2018 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 26, 2018. (Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Viewership for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 18-inning win over the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the World Series dropped 15 percent from last year, hurt by a game that ended at 12:30 a.m. PDT.

The Dodgers’ 3-2 win, which took a Series-record 7 hours, 20 minutes, averaged 13,251,000 on Fox, the network said Saturday. That was down from an average of 15,483,000 for Houston’s 5-3 win over the Dodgers last year, a game that lasted 3:46. This year’s Game 3 was the lowest viewed since an average of 13,722,000 tuned in for the New York Mets’ 9-3 win over Kansas City in 2015.

Boston’s 8-4 win in the opener averaged 13,755,000 and its 4-2 victory in Game 2 averaged 13,442,000, Fox said.

 

5:50 p.m.

Not a whole lot of hitting so far at Dodger Stadium — is it tired batters, fresh pitchers or tough to see in this twilight start?

A single by Chris Taylor is the only hit through two innings in a scoreless Game 4.

LA lefty Rich Hill, who didn’t play in the Dodgers’ 18-inning win in Game 3, has struck out three and walked two. Eduardo Rodriguez, who threw just six pitches the previous game, has fanned two and walked one.

Then again, there was a lot of action until late in the game Friday night. By early Saturday, it sure got interesting.

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5:32 p.m.

Rich Hill started for the Dodgers and Eduardo Rodriguez for the Red Sox in the third all left-hander matchup, which had not happened in the World Series since 1997, according to STATS.

Hill retired the side around a walk in the first, throwing 20 pitches, and Rodriguez had a similar bottom half, tossing 24 pitches.

Retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant read the starting lineups and former Oakland star Dennis Eckersley threw a ceremonial first pitch with Kirk Gibson standing at the plate. Gibson’s two-run pinch homer off Eckersley won the 1988 opener, and the Dodgers went on to win what remains their last title.

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4:55 p.m.

Seattle’s Edwin Diaz and Milwaukee’s Josh Hader were given the Reliever of the Year Awards in each league, honors named after Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman. Diaz led the big leagues with 57 saves, and Hader won as a setup man.

“I think we’re seeing a microcosm of what baseball is turning into, with the bullpenning and things like that,” Hoffman said.

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4:39 p.m.

When Eduardo Rodriguez takes the mound for Game 4, the Boston left-hander will be the first pitcher to start a World Series game on zero days’ rest since 1924.

Firpo Marberry accomplished the unusual feat for the Washington Senators.

Marberry came on in relief to strike out one New York Giants batter in the ninth inning of Game 2, and the Senators won it in the bottom half. Marberry then started Game 3 at the Polo Grounds, pitching three innings.

Although Marberry was the pitcher of record in Game 2, he was denied a World Series victory. According to a contemporary report by The Associated Press, New York “chief scorer” Fred Lieb awarded the win to starter Tom Zachary, who pitched the first 8 2/3 innings of Game 2 “and was entitled to the most credit for the victory.”

Four other pitchers started a World Series game on zero days’ rest between 1906 and 1911, including Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown and Orval Overall.

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3:45 p.m.

A three-time Cy Young Award winner with a 2.39 career ERA in the regular season, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is just 9-9 with a 4.28 ERA in 23 postseason starts and six relief appearances.

Trying to improve his image as a less-than-stellar postseason pitcher is not a concern.

“I don’t really care about legacy. I don’t really care what people think of me or perceive of me,” he said Saturday. “Game 5 is a very important game to win the World Series, and I’m looking forward to pitching that game and hopefully putting us in a great spot going back to Boston. And that’s really all I care about. All that other stuff, people are going to have their opinions, you know, and that’s fine. I’m not here to change them. I’m here to pitch. And all that other stuff will take care of itself.”

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3 p.m.

Viewership for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 18-inning win over the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the World Series dropped 15 percent from last year, hurt by a game that ended at 12:30 a.m. PDT.

The Dodgers’ 3-2 win, which took a Series-record 7 hours, 20 minutes, averaged 13,251,000 on Fox, the network said Saturday. That was down from an average of 15,483,000 for Houston’s 5-3 win over the Dodgers last year, a game that lasted 3:46. This year’s Game 3 was the lowest viewed since an average of 13,722,000 tuned in for the New York Mets’ 9-3 win over Kansas City in 2015.

Boston’s 8-4 win in the opener averaged 13,755,000 and its 4-2 victory in Game 2 averaged 13,442,000, Fox said.

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2:45 p.m.

After Friday night’s 18-inning game, the Dodgers have shortened batting practice to 30 minutes and made it optional.

Manager Dave Roberts says he is set to go after a short night of sleep.

“We’re in a good mental space right now. I slept a few hours. I’m three cups of coffee deep,” Roberts said. “It’s the World Series. If you can’t get up for this, we have to find something else to do.”

Game 3 was the longest game in World Series history at 7 hours, 20 minutes.

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2:15 p.m.

David Freese is leading off for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the World Series.

He will start at first base against the Boston Red Sox.

Max Muncy, whose home run leading off the 18th inning gave the Dodgers a 3-2 victory in Game 3, bats second and plays second base.

Third baseman Justin Turner bats third, followed by shortstop Manny Machado, center fielder Cody Bellinger, right fielder Yasiel Puig, left fielder Chris Taylor, catcher Chris Barnes and pitcher Rich Hill.

The Red Sox are tweaking their lineup against left-hander Hill.

Mookie Betts is hitting leadoff and playing center field.

Andrew Benintendi bats second and plays left field, with shortstop Xander Bogaerts dropping to fifth in the batting order.

Steve Pearce starts at first base and hits third after entering Game 3 as a pinch hitter in the 11th inning.

Right fielder J.D. Martinez bats fourth, followed by Bogaerts and third baseman Eduardo Nunez, who pinch hit in the 10th inning in Game 3.

Second baseman Brock Holt bats seventh, followed by catcher Christian Vasquez and pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.

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1:45 p.m.

Rich Hill is starting for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the World Series after all.

The left-hander was originally announced as the starter, but on Saturday morning the team backed off on him and said its starter was to be announced.

The Dodgers confirmed Hill on their Twitter account after the Red Sox said lefty Eduardo Rodriguez would be their starter.

Hill is well-rested, unlike most of the Dodgers’ staff. Los Angeles used nine pitchers to eke out a 3-2 victory in Game 3, which lasted a record 7 hours, 20 minutes.

The Dodgers trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven Series.

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1:20 p.m.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will start Game 4 for the Boston Red Sox against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.

The Red Sox announced the decision on Twitter about four hours before Saturday’s game at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers have yet to confirm their starter.

Boston leads the best-of-seven Series 2-1.

The Dodgers won 3-2 early Saturday after Max Muncy’s homer leading off the 18th inning ended the longest game in Series history at 7 hours, 20 minutes.

Rodriguez returns after throwing just six pitches in striking out Joc Pederson for the final out of the fifth inning Friday.

Rodriguez was 13-5 with a 3.82 ERA and 146 strikeouts in the regular season. He made 27 appearances, with 23 starts.