1 out from win, Kinsler's E costs Sox 3-0 lead

Dodgers tie game on second baseman's misplay in 13th

October 27th, 2018

LOS ANGELES -- For someone who didn't even come into the game until the 10th inning, had a full night's worth of action -- most of which he'd probably like to forget.
Kinsler had a rough game on the basepaths after replacing J.D. Martinez as a pinch-runner, but any close calls he had as a runner paled in comparison to the costliness of his defense. Instead of the Red Sox going home at a relatively decent hour reveling in their comeback win, they were forced to answer tough questions in early morning hours Saturday, looking for anything positive to draw from a seven-hour, 20-minute marathon that ended in a 3-2 loss to the Dodgers in an 18-inning thriller in Game 3 of the World Series.
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"I had the last out in my glove and we ended up playing however many innings, 18 innings, 19 innings, whatever," Kinsler said. "I had an opportunity to end the game right there and it didn't happen."
The Red Sox looked like they had the game wrapped up in the 13th. walked, stole second and scored on an error by Los Angeles reliever , giving Boston a 2-1 lead.
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But in the bottom of the inning, with on second base, sent a ground ball up the middle to Kinsler, who backhanded the ball and appeared to slip on the grass before throwing about 10 feet wide to first.
Muncy scored on the error, tying a game that would take five more innings to decide.
"I lost my footing a little bit but right there, I was trying to keep the ball in with a guy on second base, try not to let that ball go up the middle," Kinsler said. "I overran 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."
"He's one of the best defensive second basemen in the big leagues," manager Alex Cora said. "He's been making that play for a while and just threw it away."
But did Kinsler need to be so hasty with the throw? Puig was 45 feet from first base when Kinsler threw the ball. At his seasonal sprint speed, Puig was 1.6 seconds away when the throw -- which traveled about 100 feet -- was made. Kinsler had around a half-second longer to set and make the throw, which translates to 14 feet of Puig running at the pace he was going.

In a game of inches and split-second decisions, Kinsler's haste may have cost the Red Sox the game.
"Right now, that situation, there's nothing to say," Kinsler said. "It's a tough play. It's tough to swallow. There's nothing they can say in that moment that's going to help make me feel any better. That's up to me to just move on and try to get ready for the next play as best as possible."

Kinsler had already drawn attention to himself earlier in the game, but for different reasons. After he replaced Martinez at first base as a pinch-runner in the 10th, he had a unique trip around the bases that could have ended disastrously a couple of different times, beginning with a pickoff attempt by Dodgers reliever .
The throw was close enough that it warranted a challenge by L.A. manager Dave Roberts, and though there was not enough evidence to overturn the safe call, slow-motion replays showed Muncy's tag was closer than it first appeared.
Later in the inning, Holt's one-out base hit to right-center advanced Kinsler to third base, a rather standard play -- until Kinsler overslid the bag and nearly was tagged out by . The good news is that he scrambled back to the bag safely. The bad news is that three pitches later, he tried to tag and score the go-ahead run on a flyout to center off the bat of , but he was thrown out at the plate by Dodgers center fielder .

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Kinsler's night didn't get any better from there. His error in the 13th changed the scope of the World Series for Boston, which now enters Game 4 uncertain of who will pitch, and could end Saturday tied with Los Angeles in the best-of-seven series.
"I'm just trying to do whatever I can to help this team win," a despondent Kinsler said after the game. "I feel terrible. I feel terrible for Nate [Eovaldi]. I feel like I let the team down right there and next opportunity, [I'll] try to seize it."
"He apologized to me, and I told him he had nothing to apologize for," Eovaldi said. "We're a team. [I told him,] 'I know you got my back' and I've got his, and it's a team effort, it's not just one guy."