Wow! This post-season is producing some memorable games.
The San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals went 18 innings in Game 2 of the NLDS with the Giants winning 2-1. The Kansas City Royals aren’t the only ones who can play the extra inning ball. At six hours and 23 minutes, this was the longest game in post-season history. In term of innings, it matches the 18 inning marathon between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS which the Astros won on a home run by Chris Burke. Tim Hudson started that game for the Braves. He also started tonight’s game for the Giants.
Hudson and Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann (fresh off his no-hitter) were locked in a pitcher’s duel. After struggling for much of the second half, Hudson threw 7 1/3 innings giving up only one run on seven hits. That run came on a single by Nats third baseman Anthony Rendon.
Zimmermann didn’t throw a no-hitter, but he had no-hit stuff. He would retire 20 batters in a row before walking Giants second baseman Joe Panik with two outs in the ninth with a 1-0 lead. Nats manager Matt Williams took out Zimmermann in favor of closer Drew Storen who would face Buster Posey. It turned out that Williams had pressed the Panik button so to speak. Storen gave up a single to Posey and then a double to Pablo Sandoval which would score the tying run. Posey would be thrown out at home to bring the game into extra innings. Giants manager Bruce Bochy called for the umpires to look at the instant replay, but the call was upheld.
Tempers flared in the Nats dugout when Asdrubal Cabrera was called out on strikes. Earlier in the game, Bryce Harper was barking at home plate umpire Vic Carapazza’s liberal strike zone. But Cabrera slammed down his bat and helmet and uttered the old familiar suggestion. Carapazza would eject Cabrera and a few moments later ejected Williams.
Yusmeiro Petit would enter the game in the 12th and pitched six scoreless innings for the Giants striking out seven. Petit’s pitching would pay off in the top of the 18th when Brandon Belt lived up to his name and took Nats pitcher Tanner Roarkdeep. Roark gave up the gopher ball less than half an hour before his 28th birthday.
I was a little worried when Bochy pinch hit for Petit and brought in Hunter Strickland to pitch the bottom of the 18th. Strickland gave up back to back HR to Cabrera and Harper on Friday in Game 1. With two outs, Strickland walked Rendon which brought up Jayson Werth representing the winning run. Werth got a hold of one but it died in the wind and Giants right fielder Hunter Pence caught the ball to end the game and give the Giants a 2-1 win.
The Giants go up 2-0 in the NLDS and can clinch the series on Monday in San Francisco with their ace Madison Bumgarner on the mound. Doug Fister is no slouch, but the Nats are up against the wall. They are going to have a long flight out west.
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