If you enjoy watching baseball into the early morning hours, then you absolutely loved MLB opening the season in Australia. Oh, and chances are you enjoyed Saturday night into Sunday morning's epic 19-inning battle between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels as well.
Of course, no marathon game would be complete without a game-ending review. At least these days. And in this case it definitely was worth another look. The ball clearly hit off the top of the wall, but it was difficult to tell if it actually cleared it and bounced back on the field or if it just came down. The umpires looked at it for about a minute and upheld the call, likely because there wasn't a good enough angle to justify overturning it. And maybe slightly because they wanted to get back to the hotel before Sunday's scheduled game for 1:05 p.m. locally.
Matt Shoemaker pitched the final three innings for Los Angeles to pick up the win. He didn't allowed a baserunner and struck out four after throwing 102 pitches in a start on Wednesday.Amazingly, no position players were called on to pitch despite each team using nine pitchers. Although both teams did dip into their starting rotations to steal innings.
He'll definitely need to ice his arm.
Scioscia said Shoemaker had another 20-30 pitches, and then Santiago was going to pitch.— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) August 10, 2014
Apparently the Angels were willing to use Sunday's scheduled starter to get this win.
Boston squeezed four scoreless innings of relief out of former minor league closer Heath Hembree before turning to starter Brandon Workman in the 19th. Workman didn't retire a batter.
In the field, Albert Pujols was shifted to third base for the first time since June 12, 2012 after starter David Freese was subbed out for a pinch-runner and his backup John McDonald was pinch-hit for in the 13th. He handled one chance, but only when he was moved back to right field while shifting for David Ortiz.
So really, the scenarios weren't too crazy for a 19-inning game, but it still made for interesting drama.
A couple other things of note.
• This was the longest game played in MLB so far this season by innings and time at six hours and 31 minutes.
• It was also the longest game in Angel Stadium history.
Hope they can finish this game before the Angel Stadium lease expires in Anaheim.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) August 10, 2014
• Both teams scored a single run in the 14th inning. The Angels had the bases loaded with nobody out but couldn't put up a crooked number.
• The bottom five hitters in Boston's lineup finished 1-for-31 with a walk, one RBI and 10 strikeouts.
• Angels starter Garrett Richards carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Dustin Pedroia broke it up with a clean single to center. Boston scored three runs in the inning.
The two teams will be at it again on Sunday afternoon. Rubby De La Rosa and Hector Santiago are the scheduled starters, and both better make sure they're good and stretched out. Good or bad, they're going to be in for the long haul.
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