April 18th, 2011
No, not the one between Arkansas and Frisco yesterday, even though it felt like it at times. Today is the 30th anniversary of the start of the longest game in professional baseball history.
It all began as a seemingly ho-hum International League contest between the Rochester Red Wings and the Pawtucket Red Sox. The two teams would play until 4:09 a.m. on the 19th before stopping the game. They resumed the game June 23rd, and the outcome took only 18 minutes to decide. The Red Sox won 3-2.
There is a connection between that game and the RoughRiders. John Clemens, the public-address announcer at Dr Pepper Ballpark, was on the broadcast for Pawtucket as the studio host. I can’t even describe how strange of an experience that must have been.
It’s an incredible story. Check out more about this game here (by the way: both teams scored a run in the 21st!). And here’s a feature on John’s involvement with the game. Crazy stuff.
- Yesterday’s game was not the longest game ever, but it was the longest of this young season (3:26). After three innings, though, the game was already 1:30 old. Based on the score and the flow of the game, it probably felt even longer for Frisco fans.
- One ‘Rider who is starting to heat up after a slow start is Davis Stoneburner. The infielder, who played for four different Rangers affiliates last season, began the season 2-for-17 with two RBIs. Over the last three games, though, Stoneburner has excelled when the RoughRiders have been without Renny Osuna. He is 4-for-12 with four runs scored and four RBIs. Actually, in the series, he has hit for the cycle, including a two-run homer in the first inning yesterday.
- Here’s a stat that surprised me: Mike Bianucci notched his third multi-hit game of the year yesterday. It surprised me because the guy is hitting .324 through ten games. I thought he had more than that. Regardless, he has been steady.
- Jonathan Greene also has three multi-hit efforts after a 3-for-4 day yesterday. Don’t look now, but Greene is making a pitch for more playing time. The Boone, N.C., native has hit safely in five of his six starts this year. He’s 9-for-21 (.429) for the young campaign. His OPS sits at a ridiculous 1.097. He is quietly putting together a very good start to 2011.
- Yesterday’s game featured 25 men stranded, 14 of whom were in scoring position at the end of the inning. Frisco had 15 and eight in those two categories, respectively. And in six of the nine frames, the ‘Riders spoiled chances with at least two men aboard. It’s pretty easy to see why the RoughRiders lost when you gander at those numbers.
- Pitch counts will always prevent minor league starters from going deep into games, but that’s not the only reason this club doesn’t have many innings pitched from the starters. The team has gotten 38.2 IP from them this year, which is just shy of 4 IP/start. The staff has an 8.15 ERA to go with that low ratio. Martin Perez (2.25) is the only starter who has an ERA under 5.40.
- With yesterday’s loss, the ‘Riders are now 4-6 after starting 2-0. But keep in mind, this is an up-and-down league. For example, Northwest Arkansas has dropped 3 of 4 after starting 5-1. San Antonio started the year 2-3, and the Missions now sit at 6-4. And Arkansas is 5-1 over the last 6 since beginning the year with four straight losses. Just some food for thought.
- We’ve had a great response to our “Extra Bases Question” so far. If you haven’t heard of it yet, this is a chance for you to be a part of the post-game show. During our interactive game-day blog (The Extra Bases Blog), you can ask us questions. I will answer the best question from that day during the post-game coverage.
- Finally, check out this year’s RoughRiders Baseball Academy for children ages 9-12. The information is online here. It is always a great event every year. I could have used some of this training during my baseball “career.”
We’re on early today. 10:30 pre-game. Note to those listening on 1630 KKGM: We will again be on tape-delay. You can hear the game in its entirety at 6:30 this evening. Enjoy!