Live Blogging A 22 Inning Baseball Game Between Two National League West Teams Has Always Been My Lifelong Dream (Also, Friday Picks)

2:57 AM ET: End 17: Colorado Rockies 1, San Diego Padres 1

Let’s go!

2:58 ET: Wilfredo Ledezma will begin his fourth inning of work against Troy Tulowitzki, who is 0-for-6 tonight.

3:00 AM ET: And Tulowitzki draws a leadoff walk on a questionable ball four. Because it just wouldn’t be an 18-inning game without some controversy.

Jake Peavy and Jeff Francis started this game for their respective teams some five hours ago. Peavy pitched eight innings of shutout ball and struck out 11. Francis went seven scoreless and K’d seven.

Hang on, there’s more of the game story.

3:02 AM ET: Todd Helton just singled, and there are runners at first and second with nobody out.

The game remained scoreless until the 14th…

3:04 AM ET: Matt Holliday grounds into a double play, and the Rockies will have two outs and a runner at third with pitcher Ryan Speier due up.

…when a wild Kevin Cameron walked Brad Hawpe to force in the first run of the game. But the Padres rebounded in the bottom half of the inning when catcher Josh Bard, who has caught all 18 innings thus far, drove in Kevin Kouzmanoff on an RBI single.

And that’s all the scoring there’s been in the entire game.

3:06 AM ET: Which is about to go to the bottom of the 18th inning, still tied at 1 after Ledezma struck out Speier.

The Padres announcers, who have essentially run out of things to say — witness their discussions of which satellite radio provider they prefer and how many people have texted them during the game — are now openly rooting for runs to be scored.

3:08 AM ET: The Padres are inexplicably abusing what appears to be some sort of stuffed goat in their dugout. Hey, whatever.

3:11 AM ET: Tony Clark, another 0-for-6 guy, is up with one out. Maybe he’s due.

3:12 AM ET: Nah. He struck out.

Apparently Matt Vasgersian vowed to eat a hat if this game went past 18 innings. His midnight snack is being prepared as I type this.

And now they’re just reading their text messages on the air.

Nothing doing for the Padres in the bottom of the 18th. Let’s play 19!

3:16 AM ET: Tony Clark is now 0-for-7. He, Tulowitzki, Hawpe, Tadahito Iguchi and Jim Edmonds are all sporting 0fers.

3:17 AM ET: Hawpe just dropped to 0-for-6. “This game has set us back a hundred years to the dead ball era, for pete’s sake,” Vasgersian remarks.

I’m liveblogging HISTORY! This is the longest game in Colorado Rockies franchise history! I’ll forever know where I was when it happened.

3:19 AM ET: “You know who’s still here behind the plate?” “No.” “The dude who looks like Pete Carroll.”

They just showed the “fake Pete Carroll.” I don’t see the resemblance.

3:21 AM ET: Mudcat Grant wants to know if there’s a curfew or something. I don’t believe there is, personally. “We’re waiting for confirmation on that,” Vasgersian adds. I hope my suspicion is correct, if only for the possible meltdown that will result.

3:24 AM ET: Kip Wells has entered the game for the Rockies. He is Colorado’s eighth pitcher.

3:25 AM ET: Khalil Greene gets into one, but they’re in Petco Park, so it’s just a long flyout. Gotta love that pitcher’s park.

Meanwhile, what I guess are the post-game studio guys were shown on camera. One of them mimicked sticking a gun in his mouth and blowing his brains out, complete with pantomimed brain splattering. That’s commitment to your craft.

You’re watching San Diego Padres baseball!

3:26 AM ET: They just learned that there is, in fact, no curfew in the National League. Vasgersian noted that the American League has one, and that no inning can begin after 1 a.m., but “we aren’t so fortunate.”

Mudcat’s response to the news was rather underwhelming.

3:29 AM ET: They’re getting more and more bitter with each passing inning, at least.

“We’re going to the 20th tonight!” ‘Sweet.’

3:32 AM ET: Glendon Rusch takes over the pitching duties for the Padres. He’s the seventh pitcher for the Padres, and, as I recall, he’s not all that bad of a hitter. Perhaps his bat could come into play later on, assuming he’s not shelled into oblivion before the Pads get a chance to do any damage.

3:34 AM ET: Kevin Kouzmanoff opens the 20th inning with a diving stop and guns out Jayson Nix.

Rusch, incidentally, will lead off in the bottom half.

3:36 AM ET: With a hint of resignation on each of their voices, Vasgersian and Grant admit that this is the perfect opportunity for Rusch to rebound from some early troubles by “getting a couple good innings under his belt.” Yes, a couple. Their spirits have been crushed.

Tulowitzki finally picks up his first hit of the game to improve to 1-for-7 on the night. Helton fails to knock him in.

Rusch, Giles, Iguchi in the bottom half. Padres tryin’ to win it!

3:39 AM ET: Rusch is a career .154 hitter in 305 at-bats. He has three home runs. Just for the record.

3:41 AM ET: That career average just went down.

3:42 AM ET: They just showed a girl in the stands who’s keeping score after 20 innings. This is a fine woman. “I thought she was doodling!”

3:44 AM ET: Mudcat just became possessed by some wacky voice while calling a Brian Giles groundout. Giles is 1-for-9. I was hearing the voice of “Bud Schlitz,” apparently.

3:46 AM ET: Iguchi whiffs to end the 20th inning.

How long could this game possibly go? I’m beginning to empathize with their irritation now.

The line score for innings 21-30 was just posted on the scoreboard.

3:48 AM ET: “Oh my God, I hadn’t even thought about this. A third seventh inning stretch!” This man is in hell.

And now Mudcat Grant is speculating on the bladder capacity of the umpiring crew, who he hasn’t seen leave the field for all 21 innings. SOMEBODY PLEASE RESUME TEXTING THESE MEN.

3:50 AM ET: Vasgersian is now calling for the addition of the designated hitter in the National League. “And lowering the pitcher’s mound.” This is awesome.

Kip Wells tries to bunt Matt Holliday over to second base, but Josh Bard makes a good throw to second to force the lead runner. Seriously.

3:52 AM ET: Brad Hawpe down on strikes. 0-for-7! Golden sombrero! Sucks to be him.

3:53 AM ET: It’s time for another seventh inning stretch! They’re really putting that “I don’t care if I never get back” line to the test.

3:56 AM ET: Apparently the center field cameraman has bounced.

3:57 AM ET: With one out in the bottom of the 21st, Tony Clark will try to avoid picking up the rare platinum sombrero.

4:00 AM ET: He singles, and will have to share the golden sombrero with Hawpe for now.

Jim Edmonds immediately neutralizes Clark’s damage by grounding into a double play. TO THE 22ND!

4:04 AM ET: This is now the longest game in San Diego Padres history.

4:05 AM ET: So far, the post-game studio guys have been shown pantomiming their suicide, acting like they were either asleep or dead (if they were truly committed to their craft) and they were just now shown bouncing bottle caps into a paper cup. Those guys rule.

Vasgersian wants to know if there’s a situation where they can just leave while the game’s still going.

4:07 AM ET: With two outs in the 22nd inning, Khalil Greene is charged with a throwing error. Willy Taveras is aboard. That’s a bad guy to give the base to.

Imagine if this game is decided on an unearned run…

4:08 AM ET: Taveras swipes second, and Bard’s throw trickles into center field. Taveras advances to third thanks heavily to a pair of errors.

Big spot here for Rusch against the 1-for-7 Tulowitzki.

4:10 AM ET: And Tulo knocks him in on a double. 2-1 Rockies.

4:11 AM ET: Helton grounds out. Greene, Bard and Paul McAnulty due up. If anyone reaches base, Rusch will bat. Let’s git some runs, boys!

4:14 AM ET: Taveras, who is 3-for-10 tonight, has scored both of Colorado’s runs. He looks to be the favorite for the player of the game award.

4:15 AM ET: Khalil Greene gets plunked to lead off the bottom of the 22nd as Vasgersian wonders why the hell they got rid of the curfew in the NL in the first place.

Bard up next. I hate bunting in just about every situation, but dammit, I want to see a bunt here.

4:16 AM ET: No such luck, and Bard grounds into a double play. It’s all up to McAnulty.

4:19 AM ET: McAnulty draws a walk. So now it’s up to Rusch.

4:21 AM ET: Rusch goes down looking, and the ballgame is over.

Time for a nap.

Box Score: Colorado Rockies 2, San Diego Padres 1 (22 innings)

FRIDAY PICKS:
Chicago Cubs over Pittsburgh Pirates
Philadelphia Phillies over New York Mets
New York Yankees over Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox over Texas Rangers
Detroit Tigers over Toronto Blue Jays
Florida Marlins over Washington Nationals
Tampa Bay Rays over Chicago White Sox
Milwaukee Brewers over Cincinnati Reds
Los Angeles Dodgers over Atlanta Braves
Houston Astros over Colorado Rockies
Cleveland Indians over Minnesota Twins
San Francisco Giants over St. Louis Cardinals
Arizona Diamondbacks over San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim over Seattle Mariners
Kansas City Royals over Oakland Athletics

Merrill Park Superstar vs. the NL Central “Standings”:
St. Louis Cardinals (11-5) .688
Milwaukee Brewers (9-6) .600
Chicago Cubs (9-6) .600
Merrill Park Superstar (125-112, 10-3 Thursday) .527
Pittsburgh Pirates (7-8 ) .467
Cincinnati Reds (7-9) .438
Houston Astros (6-10) .375

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