A 20-inning game between the New York Mets and Florida Marlins stretched for close to six and a half hours on Saturday, ultimately ending before just a handful of weary fans.
The Marlins won the marathon game 2-1, outlasting the punchless Mets to claim a hardfought victory.
The scoring came early in the 20-inning game. The Mets put in a run in the second inning when Juan Lagares drove in Ike Davis, and in the fourth inning Chris Coghlan hit a sacrifice fly for the Marlins, scoring Derek Dietrich. It would be 15 more innings before anyone scored again.
The marathon game came to an end when Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria hit a single to bring in Placido Polanco in the 20th inning.
The game started as something of a pitcher’s duel between two young aces. The Mets’ Matt Harvey and Miami’s top rookie prospect Jose Fernandez were locked in an early struggle, giving up only a run each.
The 20-inning game may have been aided by the recent spate of nasty weather. Both the Mets and the Marlins have been kept off the field since Wednesday as East Coast rainstorms suspended games. Because of the unexpected break, both teams had rested bullpens ready to keep the game going through the several extra innings.
In the 13th inning the teams turned to starting pitchers, both of whom were originally slated to go on Saturday before a rainout on Friday. The Mets’ Shaun Marcum and Marlins’ Kevin Slowey pitched as the crowd dwindled into the hundreds and the stadium sound system played the Chuck Berry song “No Particular Place To Go” shortly after the 14th-inning stretch.
The 20-inning game was the longest major league game in more than three years. The last game to go that long also involved the Mets, who lost to to the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 on April 17, 2010. To put the game into perspective, it started five and a half hours before the nearby Belmont Stakes, but still ended close to an hour after the race finished with Palace Malice crossing the finish line first.
The handful of people who remained until the end of the 20-inning game was relieved to see the finish. They had been chanting “Let’s go home!” since the Mets came up to bat in the 17th inning.