For the third time (at least) in the last three years the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox managed to take over four hours to play a nine-inning baseball game. Wednesday night's marathon, won by the Yankees 15-9, took 4 hours, 8 minutes, but that was nothing compared to the surreal scene last night and early this morning at Petco Park in San Diego. Not only was there a 7th-inning stretch, but a 14th-inning stretch...and a 21st-inning stretch as the Colorado Rockies edged the Padres 2-1 in 22 innings.
It ended at 1:21 a.m. -- or 4:21 a.m. in the East, when I finally turned off the TV. After the last hockey game ended, I checked the MLB scoreboard and saw that this game was still going on -- in the 11th, at the time, so I tuned in. I thought I'd see an inning or two, not eleven more!
Between the two teams, there were 658 total pitches thrown by 15 pitchers. The teams used a combined total of 42 players. Amazingly, both starting catchers -- Colorado's Yorvit Torrealba and San Diego's Josh Bard -- played the entire game, which had to have been torture on their knees.
Neither team scored until the 14th. In fact, three Rockies pitchers retired 23 consecutive Padres hitters from the 2nd through 1oth innings -- that's four shy of a perfect game. Each team scored once in the 14th but left the bases loaded.
With two outs in the top of the 22nd the Rockies' Willy Taveras was safe on a throwing error by Padres shortstop Khalil Greene. Greene's throw was high, pulling first baseman Tony Clark off the bag. Clark is 6 feet 7 inches tall, which tells you how bad Greene's throw was. That error led to the winning run as Tavares stole second, moved to third on a errant throw by catcher Bard, and scored on a Troy Tulowitzki double.
The Rockies and Padres managed to play those 22 innings in 6 hours, 16 minutes. That's about two and a half games. At the rate New York and Boston were going, they would have only been in the 12th inning by that point. Some teams are just more efficient than others. -- Joe Guckin