No wonder Bucs were road-weary
In the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s 19-inning victory in St. Louis, Bucs skipper Clint Hurdle said that as the game progressed, he didn’t flash back to last summer’s 19-inning game in Atlanta. Instead, with his club set to take off for San Diego after the game, he kept thinking of a similar experience with his 2008 Rockies.
“We played 23 innings in San Diego in a night game, then flew to Houston. Got in there at 10:30 in the morning, and had to play that night,” Hurdle said with a chuckle.
So Monday night’s game against the Padres was not the first time Hurdle’s travel-weary club had to play on the verge of exhaustion. The Pirates looked it, too, in a listless 3-1 loss to the Friars. It was excusable, too.
According to my research, very few teams in history have ever had to go through what the Pirates did in a 36-hour span: Play 19 innings on the road, then travel for another road game the next day.
It has happened only seven times — with those 2008 Rockies being one of only two teams to win both halves of the grind. One limitation of this research: Lists of marathons include only games of 20-plus innings, so ideally there must have been other situations involving 19-inning games which are not included.
But according to available records, here’s the rundown of teams that played long in one city and had to play the next day in a different city:
- 1917 Pirates: Aug 22, lost in Brooklyn 6-5 in 22 innings; Aug. 23, lost in Boston 2-1.
- 1918 Phillies: July 17, lost in Chicago 2-1 in 21 innings; July 18, won in Pittsburgh 1-0 (in 13 innings).
- 1927 Cubs: May 17, won in Boston 4-3 in 22 innings; May 18, won in Brooklyn 7-4.
- 1971 Senators: Sept. 14, won in Cleveland 8-6 in 20 innings; Sept. 15, lost in Detroit 4-2.
- 1993 Dodgers: July 7, lost in Philadelphia 7-6 in 20 innings; July 8, split a doubleheader in New York, winning 11-8 before losing 6-3.
- 2008 Rockies: April 17, won in San Diego 2-1 in 22 innings; April 18, won in Houston 11-5.
- 2012 Pirates: Aug. 19, won in St. Louis 6-3 in 19 innings; Aug. 20, lost in San Diego 3-1.