On Friday morning, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred boasted of shaving off ten minutes per game this young season. On Friday night, the Red Sox and Yankees played well into Saturday morning.
Boston and New York combined for a six-hour, 49-minute game that lasted for fans past the seven hour mark because of a power-outage delay earlier in the contest. After Big Papi put the Red Sox ahead with a homer in the top of the 16th and Mark Teixeira tied it in the bottom of the frame, and the Bronx Bombers and Olde Towne Team again traded runs in the 18th, Mookie Betts put the Sox ahead for good on a sacrifice fly that scored Xander Bogaerts in the top of the 19th.
The 6-5 Red Sox victory clocked as the longest in Red Sox history and the second longest in Yankees history. In terms of innings, the game fell short of records by both clubs. More than a half century ago, for instance, the rivals played a 22-inning game.
Touting “great returns” on new playing guidelines, the commissioner said on Friday, “We’re working hard on the pace of the game this year.” He boasted to CNBC’s Squawk Box, “We’ve been about ten minutes down from where we were last year.” The AL East rivals certainly reversed any gains made on game pacing.
The Red Sox placed nine pitchers on the mound to eight for the Yankees. Both teams replaced their catchers but eleven positional players and David Ortiz competed for all 19 innings.
“It was just a wonderful game,” Chase Headley reflected. “I wish we would have won, but it was a great game.”
The Yankees get a chance to even the score, 10 hours and 18 minutes after the teams finally ended an inning with an uneven score, on Saturday afternoon.