Whenever a game goes beyond the standard 9 innings, any innings that follow are looked at just as they’re titled, extra. These innings are being thrown in for free, and if your New York Yankees announcer, Michael Kay, you may even exclaim “bonus cantos” which he translates to mean “free Baseball” whenever this happens.
Earlier in the week, the Yankees played a game that had just that, free Baseball! Their game in Chicago ended in the wee-hours of the morning on Monday. The New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs played two games in one night, but it only counts as one loss Cubs fans, don’t worry.
What started Sunday night was your average baseball game, what ended Monday morning was a record breaking game that saw 44 strikeouts combine. This was the first game in MLB history where each team stuck out at least 21 times. Were the pitchers on fire? Or by the end of it, were the hitters just tired? Either way the game ended after 18 innings, which included both a 7th inning stretch and a 14th inning stretch.
Though a marathon, this game was actually not the most innings played in a game in MLB history, it isn’t even close!
Back in 1920, the Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Robins (pre-Dodgers) played 26 innings and the game ENDED IN A TIE because day became night and this was 1920 and the fields didn’t have lights. On top of that, both starters pitched all 26 innings, again in the 20’s there was no “bullpen”.
There are 2 games tied for 2nd. The first played in 1974, the St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets with 25 innings and the second, in 1984 when The Milwaukee Brewers took on the Chicago White Sox. The latter is unique because, aside from the 25 innings it took to name a winner, this game was also played over the course of two todays. The game was halted in the 18th inning and resumed the next day where play continued for another six innings.
Tied for 3rd are two games that each took 24 innings to complete and that each involve the Philadelphia Athletics. The first from 1906, it was the A’s against the then Boston Americans (now Red Sox). The second game took place in 1945 with the Philadelphia Athletics taking on the Detroit Tigers. This game ended in a tie, each team scored a run in the 4th and 7th innings respectively and then, that was it.
The 4th longest game took place in 1964, the Giants and Mets played 23 innings at Shea Stadium. What makes this game special is it was the 2nd game in a double header! The two teams had already played your run of the mill, 9 innings BEFORE this 23 inning monster.
Coming in at 5th place for most innings played with 22, The Dodgers vs the Astros in 1989.
So while 18 innings may seem like a long game (and it is) there have been plenty other teams who have played for just as long, and longer.
Written by Kristen
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