Kirk Gibson must have nearly run out of ink for this historic line-up card
While most were fast asleep, the game raged on. Inning after inning, the Diamondbacks and Phillies continued to play last night. A game that started at 7:05pm on Saturday finally ended after 18 innings when Adam Eaton of the Diamondbacks hit a go-ahead double finally resulting in a 12-7 win for the Diamondbacks. The game ended at 2:12am Sunday, an extraordinary 7 hours and 6 minutes long.
''Oh God, it was tough,'' Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said after the game. ''I'm pretty tired, I really don't know what to tell you.''
It is not the longest by inning, but was historic for its length by time. It was the longest game in Phillies and Diamondbacks history. Given that the Phillies were established in 1883, that’s saying something.
It will go into the record books as the fourth-longest game of all-time. It was the longest MLB game by time since June 3, 1989, when the Astros beat the Dodgers, 5-4, in a 22-inning game in Houston which lasted 7 hours and 14 min. In an odd bit of symmetry, the game was exactly one hour short of the all-time record for a Major League game by time of 8 hours 6 min played between the White Sox and Brewers on May 1, 1984.
It was a game that saw 20 different pitchers. There were 137 at-bats, 35 hits, 32 strikeouts and 28 walks. The teams used every available player they had, minus three starting pitchers on each side. Centerfielder Casper Wells of the Phillies was on the mound in the 18th inning using what could best be described as a lot of sinkers.
Less than 12 hours later, the sides meet again, begging the question whether it was even worth leaving Citizens Bank Park.
Here’s where the game ranks historically.
LONGEST MLB GAMES BY TIME
1) Tuesday, May 1, 1984 (Brewers-White Sox) at Comiskey Park I – 8 hours 6 min. Total innings: 25. White Sox won 7-6. Winning pitcher (Tom Seaver). Losing pitcher (Chuck Porter) (box score)
2) Sunday, May 31, 1964 (Giants-Mets) at Shea Stadium – 7 hours 23 min. Total innings: 23. Giants won 8-6. It was the second game of a double-header. Winning pitcher (Gaylord Perry). Losing pitcher (Galen Cisco) (box score)
3) Saturday, June 3, 1989 (Dodgers-Astros) at The Astrodome – 7 hours 14 min. Total innings: 22. Astros won 5-4. Winning pitcher (Jim Clancy). Losing pitcher (Jeff Hamilton) (box score)
4) Saturday, August 24, 2013 (Diamondbacks-Phillies) at Citizens Bank Park – 7 hours 6 min. Total innings: 18. Diamondbacks won 12-7). Winning pitcher (Trevor Cahill). Losing pitcher (Centerfielder Casper Wells)
Source: Biz of Baseball research, Major League Baseball, Elias
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Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.
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