Boston Red Sox Longest Extra Inning Baseball Game
THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – It would be the longest extra inning baseball game ever in the history of the Boston Red Sox.
It definitely became the longest game ever played at Yankee Stadium. And when Mark Teixeira cracked a homer in the bottom of the 16th inning he became the first player wearing pinstripes,
in over 75 years, to slam a homer that late in any Yankee games.
What transpired was an incredible back-and-forth epic event that went 19 innings. With the Red Sox coming out on top 6-5. A total of 17 pitchers from both team’s threw 628 pitches. The game was timed at 6 hours 49 minutes. Not including a 19 minute delay when banks of flood lights lost power in the darkness engulfing the field in the Bronx well into extra time.
Here’s what happened. The Red Sox scored the first run in their initial at bat. Pablo (the Kung Fu Panda) Sandoval picked up the RBI.
Later Boston scored 2 more when Daniel Nava batted a pair of runners home. It then became energized after the Yanks bounced back with two. It remained 3-2. Before New York would
discover another lightning rod moment.
Meanwhile, MLB broadcasters Bob Costas and his partner John Smoltz (former Atlanta pitcher) were compelling, witty, forthright and truly awesome as so many entries were made in their scorecards.
Once, When a batter swung at a very low pitch nailing it–as a cricket batter might– for a clean hit, Costas observed, “well if you are watching Yogi Berra, somewhere nearby in Brooklyn, you might have said if the ball is anywhere near the plate: I’ll just go wailing on it. And that’s what we just saw.”
Later, as Boston’s Dustin Pedroia stepped to home plate Smoltz remembered the Bosox
in 2009 when Smoltz spent a season there. The talk around the batting cage Smoltz revealed was the rivetting strength of Pedroia. “Just amazing is how is teammates saw Pedroia,” recalled Smoltz. “How durable at 5′ 9.” Because no one ever expected him to hang in so long. Now he’s signed a long term contract.”
Back to New York batting in the bottom of the ninth with two out. Meaning they were a one out away from lights out. Amen. And, a loss.
But The Red Sox had inserted relief pitcher Edward Mujica to the mound attempting to cull New York’s aspirations. Particularly with Biston’s best Koji Uehara on the DL.
Next pitch and Chase Headley swung at what was served. The crowd of 41, 522 stood in unison. It was beyond a prayer. The ball was sailing out well beyond the field. Going. Gone. Headley had homered: 3-3. Game tied. Now, heading in to extra innings.
“Is there anything further?” asked Costas, “Which one of the Marx Brothers said that.”
A phrase from Beckett a World War II resistance underground writer, in France, came back to me. One can’t go on? One must go on! These lines would carry over future innings.
At one point New York catcher Brian McCann was went into a heap when a wicked tipped ball nailed him on a kneecap. Yankees manager Joe Girardi, a former catcher, was the first to check on McCann. Though Not long after shuffling about Brian McCann was ready. Squatting down to receive the next pitch. McCann’s dedication was genuine. Such courage was tribute to all who wish to be humble bat catchers.
That became an important point realizing both teams would need to resort, out of a painful endurance, to using more than one catcher before the end. While chief umpire Marty Foster remained stoic. A stalwart in this endlessness he was a symbol of the-main-umpire-in-residence behind home plate. Though, afterwards, he too was wounded in the foot by an ever so nasty foul. Where, then, Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan temporarily became the lone one in this setting offering a few kind moments to commiserate. Hanigan being used to the perilous backstop region both of them worked in.
To summarize how very long this was becoming. Costas focused on a young couple sitting
only a few rows up. “You see those two,” noted Costas waiting for a camera to zoom in. He soon went in, “let’s assume they met at the park earlier tonight. Right now they are almost engaged.”
So after David Ortiz had given Boston a one run lead in the 16th with a classic homer; Costas noted how Friday night had become Saturday morning.
Next storyline moment in this odyssey,p was sparked when Mark Teixeira launched New York home run over the left field wall. The Yankees’ almost drained spirits were revived in an encore of delirious energy again.
“Well,” commented Costas, “Teixeira came into Friday evening’s start at age 34. Mark’s birthday is today as we turn the calendar to Saturday. He’s now 35. He’s aged a year.”
Events in this marathon led into the top of 19th. Boston manufactured a lead run again. They posted 6-5 lead.
Well, The Yankees had come from behind four times. Would they have a valiant fifth response inside their demeanour.
Pitcher Steven Wright a knuckle baller for Boston was entering, at the moment, beginning his 5th inning of relief.
Before anyone would know how or when the curtain would be drawn, New York was poised again with runner on first. And, only one out.
That’s when Garrick Jones hit a smash up the middle. The only thing this due of these Titans had not witnessed was a double play. Boston executed a classic double play with Pedroia flashing the leather to seal their win.
Red Sox Manager John Farrell complimented both sides. Then allowed, “this result is a testament to our durability. And resolve.”
Ever the reflex moderator, Costas quoted the American comedian–the other– Steven Wright famous for his thought, “when I think of the past. Memories come back.”
Costas took it all a little further, ” and, wasn’t he born in Boston?”
Certainly a fitting spot to put this game-for-the ages into its Hall of Fame Record books.
I stood to stretch from a chair. Lifting a final stick of birch into the embers of our fireplace. The flames were still flickering with an imperious glow of their own. It was 3 a.m.
In their last 128 games, over time, these two foes had each won 64 times. So nearly, as Costas would sum up, “dead even…after all these decades.”
He was so apt with his observations. For these two franchise are truly the oldest rivalry in all of professional team sports in North America. Their legendary players include both Dimaggios. Dom and Joe. Other greats like Williams and Ruth. Yaz and Mantle. Fisk and Munson. Gidry and Eckersley. Martinez and Mattingly. The list is virtually ongoing. Every time they are schedule to play.
” Just winsome.” That’s how a New England loyalist described what had gone before.