New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone warned England’s new baseball fans that the historic display of power hitting put on by his side and the Boston Red Sox isn’t how the sport is usually played.
The first Major League Baseball game ever played in Europe served up a feast for the sell-out crowd at the London Stadium as the Yankees won 17-13 on Saturday.
There were 37 hits and six home runs between the American League East rivals, with 12 runs scored in the first inning alone in a game lasting a marathon four hours and 42 minutes.
However, in its purest form, baseball rarely offers up such gaudy offensive numbers and while the crowd — which included Prince Harry and his wife Meghan — seemed to go home happy, Boone reminded them that it wasn’t the norm.
“I actually spent some time thinking about that during the game. I was looking out to the crowd and wondering, they must be thinking, ‘This is pretty long’,” Boone said.
“But cricket takes all weekend to play, right? A lot of people are used to it. They saw a lot of great hitters do some great things and some really good defensive plays as well.
“But we should remind them there’s not 30 runs every game.”
Boston trailed 17-6 before staging a late comeback that kept the result in doubt until the final inning.
It was a bittersweet experience for Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who enjoyed the historic occasion but was frustrated by a loss that dealt a further blow to the World Series champions’ hopes of returning to the play-offs.
“I guess it’s one of those games that people love, people love offense,” Cora said.
“We know we have to do a better job in terms of getting people out, avoiding the big inning.
“Hopefully tomorrow’s game is more controlled in terms of runs and we give the people from London a closer game. Those are cool too.”
The tight dimensions of the makeshift ballpark at Premier League club West Ham — at just 385 feet to the centre field wall the smallest in baseball — no doubt contributed to the scoring.
But neither team pitched well, with both starters chased from the game before the end of the first inning.
“Obviously it was a struggle for both sides in the pitching department,” Boone added.
“It just felt like a lot of good hitters taking advantage of some mistakes.”