Confession time: I don’t watch all the baseball games. I watch many, many baseball games in a given day or week, but I am somehow not capable of watching them all. This isn’t a bad thing, I assure you.
When I awoke, with an assist to my infant daughter, very early this morning, it was much to my surprise when I saw a baseball game had ended mere moments before. The Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim decided to play NINETEEN innings on a Monday night in April, a game which featured 156 plate appearances, 597 pitches and 18 runs. A game the A’s won 10-8 on a walkoff home run by Brandon Moss.
Call me crazy but that looks like one of the most subdued walkoff celebrations I can remember. Must be the marathon game which quite obviously sucked their collective wills to live.
As the game chart shows, this was a true white knuckle ride, as the A’s came from five runs back by scoring four runs in the 8th and pushing across the tying run in the 9th. The Angels eventually went ahead in the 15th inning, only to see Oakland tie the game, prolonging the agony.
Speaking of agony, poor Chris Ianetta caught all 19 innings for the Angels last night. Going to go ahead an pencil Hank Conger in for the start tonight. Speaking of further agony, the Angels pitching staff isn’t exactly so “robust” as to feature the kind of depth required to absorb pitching two full games in one night and still be ready to fire tonight. At least they send Garrett Richards to the hill tonight, he of three consecutive decent starts.
Speaking of agony of the soul, this game wasn’t the only noteworthy baseball activity last night. Two of the biggest stars in the National League both suffered injury, which is not good in any way.
Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson told reporters that Stephen Strasburg was suffering from forearm tightness during his start last night. Though it sounds innocent enough (he was treated with “medication“), it is always noteworthy when the great but brittle (narratively speaking) Strasburg suffers an arm injury.
MEANWHILE, in Miami, the Mets and Marlins decided to play themselves a marathon game, going 15 innings at Marlins Park, all but ensuring an empty stadium by the time the final pitch was thrown. What started as Matt Harvey versus Jose Fernandez ended with Shaun Marcum getting lit up in relief as Jon Rauch went three innings for the win. Of course.
The Mets squandered another strong Harvey start, albeit an inefficient one in which he threw 121 pitches in just 5.1 innings, striking out seven and coaxing 14 swinging strikes. Jose Fernandez last just four innings, walking three and surrendering a home run to John Buck because that’s just what John Buck does now – hit home runs off premium pitching.
The real story from this game was the injury suffered by Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins slugger finally got his bat going this weekend only to pull up lame running out a swinging bunt in the tenth inning. The Marlins placed Stanton on the disabled list last night, which is pretty much the worst sentence I’ve written in 2013.
And the rest
The Blue Jays season is kinda sorta maybe over? [DJF]
More debate over the quality/efficacy of WAR. Weee. [Fangraphs]