The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres combined to set several records in a 16-inning marathon at Petco Park that began Wednesday night and concluded early the next morning.
For starters, it was the longest game since MLB implemented the runner on second base rule last season. It amounted to the Dodgers using 10 pitchers and 23 overall players in the contest, and each of the eight starters playing all 16 innings.
“I’m pretty beat, but you feel a lot better after a win,” manager Dave Roberts said after the Dodgers’ 5-3 victory.
“Almost a six-hour game, to stay focused like that, mentally fatigued. But our guys, I’ve got to give them credit. I don’t even know how many innings we played. Will caught every inning, the bandwidth to call all those pitches, the up and downs in the game, to stay locked in, there’s just so much to unpack. To come away with a win was huge.”
Part of why Wednesday’s matchup between the Dodgers and Padres took just under six hours to complete was both teams’ struggles with men on base. L.A. stranded 10, went just 5-for-27 with runners in scoring position and failed to score in five consecutive extra innings.
“It was pretty frustrating. But no one was more frustrated than the hitters themselves,” Roberts said. “We had pitches that we should’ve handled, and we just didn’t execute when we needed to.
“Certainly, there’s a cost as far as the arms we had to use and picking up the pieces. Will Smith is not going to catch [Thursday], we’ll get Austin in there. So there’s certainly a cost, the solace is you still found a way to win a game.”
Making up for the Dodgers’ offensive struggles was a bullpen that didn’t give an edge to the Padres hitters. Nine relievers combined to allow just one hit and two runs (one earned) with eight strikeouts over 9.1 innings pitched.
“It’s next man up. Josh Bard leading those guys in the ‘pen, they’ve got a good thing going as far as kinship and camaraderie,” Roberts said.
“They pick each other up and take pride in putting up zeroes, closing out games when we have a lead, or eating up innings. I can’t say enough about those guys. We needed every one of those outs.”
Roberts: 16-inning marathon ‘epitomizes’ team win
Roberts couldn’t stop praising his players after the game for continuously picking each other up and never quitting until the win was secured. “I’ll tell you, you can listen to the excitement and elation after the game,” Roberts began.
“A lot of high-fives, maybe a couple beer showers, guys on adrenaline and just finding a way to win a ballgame. It should count as two; unfortunately it doesn’t. I can’t say enough about these guys. We just didn’t quit.
“It was frustrating at times, but guys coming out of the ‘pen, throwing up zeroes, even the homer that Corey gave up, C.T. gave it a good go. Corey, we’re going to count on him. He was down and we picked him up, and he’s going to pick us up. I’ve talked about team wins, but I think this certainly epitomizes a team win.”
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