About last weekend ...

Andy Marlin

Turns out last weekend was pretty boring. Except, wait, there was a little something in New York ...

This is supposed to be a recap of the important baseball-related events this weekend. But in the two-plus years of Baseball Nation, I don't remember a weekend of baseball that was so pedestrian. Take a look at a sample of headlines from MLB.com:

Nats' offense, Zimmermann take down Twins

Bucs do just enough to back Liriano

Cabrera, Stults help Padres edge Rockies

That isn't to say those are boring baseball stories. I'm sure they were perfectly enjoyable games to watch. But I would have to live in San Diego for six years, attend 58 Padres games every season, and not talk to another living person the entire time to pretend that a non-Padres fan would care about a headline like "Cabrera, Stults help Padres edge Rockies."

And that's your weekend recap. Sorry! Looks like nothing much happened this weekend.

Except, wait, here's an interesting headline I just noticed ...



oh god

The Mets and Marlins played 20 innings on Saturday. They also played 10 innings Sunday. Ten innings is a long game. Twenty innings is twice as long as a really long game. It's basically a cricket match on quaaludes, especially when you get back to the part where the Mets and Marlins played. It was a football fan's stereotype of a baseball game written in crayon. Complete nonsense. It was a game that cost a player his job, came close to setting franchise records, and fascinated the world.

First note on the 20-inning game between the Mets and Marlins, which went 20 innings (source): The game was a DVR-special from the start. It was Matt Harvey vs. Jose Fernandez, which is probably the greatest matchup in the history of baseball over the last two weeks. And surely there were more than a few people who set their DVRs for this one, only to find that a six-hour game broke their DVR.

Harvey was great, though he had to leave because of back spasms. Fernandez was great. They're both great. They're probably the two most exciting pitchers in baseball, give or take a couple of your pet prospects. But these are my top two. And after the pitcher's rule between Harvey and Hernandez, there was a pitcher's duel between Kevin Slowey and Shaun Marcum. As a fetishist of hard-throwing young pitchers and dooky-throwing change-masters, this might have been the greatest baseball game ever played. Except for the horrible hitting.

And, lo, was there horrible hitting. Ed Lucas, Derek Dietrich, and Placido Polanco all went 1 for 8. Omar Quintanilla and Daniel Murphy went 1 for 9. There were actually 28 combined hits in the game, but those led to just three runs.

The Mets were 0 for 19 with runners in scoring position.

The Mets were 0 for 19 with runners in scoring position.

The Mets were 0 for 19 with runners in scoring position.

That's something that comes over the loudspeakers at the end of a sci-fi movie from the '70s as the world melts. The Mets went 0 for 19 with runners in scoring position. Please head to your evacuation pods. The Mets were 0 for 19 with runners in scoring position. Please head to your evacuation pods.

But, okay, you get it. There was other baseball this weekend, and this is ostensibly a weekend recap. Enough with the Mets and Marlins playing 20 innings.

Jeremy Bonderman got his first win since 2010

That's pretty interesting, except Shaun Marcum pitched eight innings in that Mets/Marlins game, you know. It was the longest relief appearance by any pitcher since 1989. It was the longest relief appearance by a Mets pitcher since Jerry Cram in 1974. Kevin Slowey pitched seven innings and got the win, and that was the longest relief appearance in Marlins history. Some of the only other relievers to go more than five innings for the Marlins:

  • Dennis Springer, inveterate knuckleballer
  • Ismael Valdez, who was apparently on the Marlins at some point
  • Jason Vargas, who was apparently on the Marlins at some point

Vargas picked up a ROY vote with the Marlins in 2005, actually, which is as many Cy Young votes as Chad Cordero received. Baseball awards are weird.

But, again, that's enough of the 20-inning game. There weren't even any position players pitching. What's the point of a 20-inning game if we don't get to see Jordany Valdespin throw a knuckleball? So let's shift our focus elsewhere for the end of the recap.

Yasiel Puig did something or whatever

Wait, but Rick Ankiel was designated for assignment shortly after the 20-inning game. The second-worst part of having a bad day is that it gives you a four-percent chance of getting that abominable "So you had a bad day"-song stuck in your head. The worst part of having a bad day is immediately getting designated for assignment. And Ankiel had a bad day, coming in as a pinch-hitter and striking out in three of his four plate appearances. More than that, he left a runner at second base in three of those four plate appearances.

Ankiel was in a miserable slump coming into the game, but it was that kind of perfect stop that'll break an organization. Enough, enough, enough, get that guy off the roster.

And to think, we were that close to having Ankiel pitch in relief.

The Tigers are pretty good and they won several games

Which is neat, but the Mets and Marlins played 20 innings. There have been 20-inning games in which the teams just gave up and declared a tie. The best part of that link: no relievers. The second-best part: There was a Hi, Hick, Mack, Irish, and Possum in that game. But now we're off track.

The last 20-inning game in the majors was in 2010, also a Mets game. Felipe Lopez pitched an inning. Man, I would have paid some money for Ankiel to pitch an inning. For shame, Mets. For shame.

If you're ever going to watch a highlight clip of a game, this will do.

The best part might be that the Mets had several chances to win, but they blew it when Daniel Murphy decided he didn't want the outside of the plate in the 12th:

Screen_shot_2013-06-10_at_1

... but wanted a piece of the catcher hur hur derp

Screen_shot_2013-06-10_at_1

So dippy. I wish every home-plate collision led to a loss.

Oh, there was an 18-inning game on Saturday, too. The Blue Jays beat the Rangers in 18. But do they give out a Nobel Prize for "attempted chemistry"?

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