Two games yesterday went to nineteen innings. This has got to be some sort of record.
First, the Tigers vs. the Blue Jays:
For the second consecutive day, the Tigers lost a one-run lead in the ninth and the game in extra innings. This time, the extras were longer — much, much longer.
By the time Jose Bautista’s walk-off single in the 19th inning sent the Tigers to a 6-5 defeat at Rogers Centre, the lights were on for a game that began at 1:07 p.m. ET, the bullpen and benches were both expended, and Rick Porcello was in his third inning of relief. The game had crossed the six-hour mark for the second-longest Tigers game in duration since 1914, according to baseball-reference.com, and tied for the fourth-longest game innings-wise in team history.
The only Tigers game longer in minutes, according to baseball-reference, was a 22-inning, seven-hour marathon against the Yankees at Tiger Stadium on June 24, 1962.
Yet as long as 19 innings of baseball reads, like how the numbers don’t line up right in a box score or the space runs short in a scorebook, it’s the look on the faces in a clubhouse that says plenty. They all get longer in a loss.
“Nineteen innings, on turf,” said Torii Hunter, one of five Tigers position players who were on the field for all 19. “It wears your muscles out, not really your joints. This is more your muscles, your calves, your hamstrings, shoulders, everything.”
That was on manager Brad Ausmus’ mind as he reflected on a game they led, 5-0, with two outs in the sixth and David Price on the mound, and an American League Central race now down to a half-game lead over the surging Royals, who started an hour later but won their seventh straight game hours earlier.
“Right now, these guys are exhausted,” Ausmus said. “They’re obviously disappointed they lost, but they’re also exhausted.”
Then it was the Red Sox and the Angels.
Brandon Workman has struggled in his first inning of work for much of the season. Apparently, that still applies when his first inning came in the 19th.
Workman yielded a homer to Albert Pujols, the first batter he faced as the ninth Red Sox pitcher of the night, giving the Los Angeles Angels a marathon 5-4 victory.
The game was the longest for the Red Sox since a 19-inning game on July 9, 2006 against the Chicago White Sox. The time of game was six hours and 31 minutes.
Workman entered the game after Heath Hembree had turned in four heroic innings in his Red Sox debut.
The Angels had loaded the bases in the 17th with one out, but Heath Hembree, finishing his third inning in his Red Sox debut, got C.J. Cron to fly to shallow left and got Chris Iannetta to hit into a force out.
The game was the longest of the season for the Red Sox, eclipsing a 14-inning win on April 16 against the White Sox in Chicago and the longest game between the two teams in 42 years.
I love baseball, but that’s… wow.