This game would not end.
My fiancee left the house to go to the mall in the 7th inning. I told her when she got back, we’d go to dinner. She got back in the 12th inning, and I apologized, and promised that as soon as the game was over we’d get some dinner. Three hours later, we were on our way to get some calzones.
The Marlins beat the Mets 2-1 in what can only be described as the most painfully fun game I’ve ever had the joyful misfortune of watching. The Game That Doesn’t End (I sang the Shari Lewis song several times) lasted 20 innings and, as is customary for the Marlins, featured almost no run-scoring offense.
Kevin Slowey, in usual fashion, pitched a great game while getting no run support. Slowey threw 7 shutout innings, allowing 8 hits and striking out 8 while not walking anyone. Did I mention that he did that in relief?
The game was billed as a pitchers’ duel, since Jose Fernandez and Matt Harvey started for their respective teams. The game lived up to the hype, though not in the way originally imagined. Fernandez was off his game a little, but was still able to make his pitches work for him, giving up 3 hits, walking 3, striking out 7, and allowing just 1 run over his 6 innings of work. The Marlins’ lone offense against Harvey was a sacrifice fly by Chris Coghlan that scored Derek Dietrich in the 4th inning. The bats went silent for the next 16.
That’s not to say there were no opportunities for both teams. In one case, Marlins catcher Rob Brantly caught a strike 3 ball, then just plain forgot to throw down to second to try and catch David Wright, who was running with the pitch. Wright, along with what seemed like an army of Mets, was stranded. In another instance, the Marlins had runners on first and second and no one out, with shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria as the lead runner. Juan Pierre squared to bunt, pulled the bat away, and Hechavarria took off for third. He was out by a mile, and Pierre hit into a double play on the next pitch.
The Marlins finally broke the ice in the 20th inning, after Mets starter-turned-reliever Shaun Marcum had retired 16 batters in a row. Placido Polanco got his first hit of the game after 7 hitless at bats that made one wonder why he still had a Major League uniform. Rob Brantly followed suit with a single, his fourth hit of the game. Hechavarria singled up the middle, and Polanco came around to score as Brantly got thrown out at third by a margin wide enough to drive a U-Haul truck through for Polanco to put his things in. Steve Cishek came in and closed the game out in the bottom of the 20th.
Games like these always produce fun tidbits. According to STATS, this was the longest game in Citi Field history. Both catchers (Brantly and John Buck) caught the entire game. Marcum’s relief outing was his longest outing of the season.
But my favorite comes courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau: Harvey and Fernandez squared off on April 29th, a game that lasted 15 innings. The last time two pitchers faced each other in two games that went 15 innings or more in the same season? 1884.
Up next: The Marlins play what will hopefully be a 6 inning game. Local boy Tom Koehler takes the mound against Jonathon Niese at 1:10 PM.