Padres Flashback–Do You Believe?”
Go to a ballgame, and you’ll see something you’ve never seen before.
So said the ever popular voice of the Padres-Jerry Coleman. Never ever did those words ring so true than what we saw in the marathon extra inning Dodgers-Padres grudge mach.
It’s been just a week since we saw it, or rather the people who were in a trance watching the nearly 5-hour Padres-Dodges marathon game.
As the Padres try to save their playoff hopes, they have given us high moments. The Musgrove no hitter early in the season The electric come from behind wins with the Reds-Nationals. El Nino doing what Fernando Tatis did on a nightly basis.
But they have given us lots of low moments. Bad innings by starters, awful short bad outinbs by those starters. Injuries. The awful losses to bad teams. The lost road trips.
But what happened last week in the 16-inning fiasco of a loss to the Dodgers, may take the cake in what might turn out to be a sour season if they don’t make the playoffs.
A look at the stats, the angles, and the weird parts of that game:
Courtesy of the ‘Athletic’
So let’s see now. A guy hit a fair ball over the fence — and it wasn’t a home run? … And another guy hit a foul ball that only traveled 56 feet — but got a sacrifice fly out of it? … And we had back-to-back homers that were sponsored by the letter “Y?”
Yessir. All of that happened in baseball in the last week. But was it even close to the highlight of the Weird and Wild column’s week? No, no, no, no, no. We had a good old-fashioned 16-inning game, right out of those nostalgic times before Zombie Runners roamed the earth. And there may not be another 16-inning game like it again. Ever. So let’s do this.
1. Tweet 16
I don’t know how I came to be America’s curator of all baseball things that are even remotely Weird and Wild. I just know that a few times every year, I awaken and learn that Americans who don’t sleep are watching games like Padres-Dodgers (Wednesday edition) and thinking about me, by tweeting stuff like this:
And also this:
All right, I admit it. I watched a little of that game, then nodded off. So for some reason, I wasn’t awake at 3:59 a.m. Eastern time, when this classic reached the finish line. But in answer to your pleas, yes! Dodgers 5, Padres 3, in 16 bizarre innings, is a Weird and Wild kind of night at the ballpark. So here goes. We’re on it!
THE TOTALS! Here at Weird and Wild, we do the math so you don’t have to. This game featured: 5 hours and 49 minutes of upside-down baseball, 125 batters marching toward the old batter’s box, 489 pitches delivered to those 125 hitters, 47 names in one box score, 19 pitchers, two Padres pitchers pinch-hitting in extra innings with the bases loaded (which didn’t end well), 14 hits, 34 strikeouts, 14 walks, but a record-tying 11 intentional walks, an intentional balk, Max Muncy going 0 for 7 on his birthday, three runners getting thrown out at the plate on extra-inning ground balls where they didn’t have to run, 10 consecutive Zombie Runners that didn’t score in extra innings and exactly one hit by the Padres in the last 4 hours and 15 minutes of this game. Got it? Whew.
FOUR HOURS WITHOUT A HIT? All right, about those Padres. It isn’t quite true that they went 0 for 4 hours in this game — but it was close. According to our great Padres writer, Dennis Lin, the Padres did go hitless for an incomprehensible 3 hours and 42 minutes! What?
Right. In between an Adam Frazier fifth-inning single at 8:45 PDT (11:45 back east) and Fernando Tatis’ game-tying homer in the 15th at 12:27 PDT (3:27 a.m. back east), the Padres sent 38 men to the plate … and none of them got a hit. Yet amazingly, after all that, they still hadn’t lost yet!
We ran that past our friends at STATS Perform. And in the 48 seasons of reliable play-by-play data, dating back to 1974, they could only find two other teams that sent 38 hitters in a row to the dish (or more) without any of them getting a hit.
Pittsburgh Pirates, 07/06/1980 vs ChC: 45
San Diego Padres, 08/25/2021 vs LAD: 38
New York Mets, 04/28/1985 vs Pit: 38
The Pirates went from the sixth to the 19th innings between hits in that game in 1980. The Mets went hitless between the first and 12th in that game in 1985. And both of those teams actually won — the Pirates in 20 innings, the Mets in 18. Wild. Or is that Weird?
WE AIN’T SCARED OF NO ZOMBIES — Before this marathon busted out, no extra-inning game in the Manfred Man era had lasted more than 13 innings. That’s because those Zombie Runners, who get awarded second base with nobody out, almost always score eventually. But not in this thing.
These teams somehow went 10 consecutive half-innings in extras – all of which started with a runner in scoring position, remember – without getting any of them around. So how many times has that happened – in any game, not just with Zombie Runners lurking? In those 48 seasons of STATS play-by-play data, that answer is: Never!
STATS found zero games in which any teams went 10 straight half-innings — extra innings or otherwise — with at least one runner in scoring position without any of those runners scoring. The last time that even happened in six straight half-innings in extras was May 5, 2014, when the Pirates and Giantsdid that. Pre-Zombie!
SET THAT ALARM FOR 3 A.M. — It wasn’t till really, really late back east that run-scoring finally filled the night. The Dodgers scored two in the top of the 15th, on three singles, two stolen bases and one Zombie Runner. Then Tatis lit up the night with a riveting two-run, game-tying home run in the bottom of the 15th. But then A.J. Pollock won it for the Dodgers in the 16th with a two-run leadoff home run. So…
• It was the first game in which both teams homered in the 15th inning or later, according to the great Doug (Kernels) Kern, since David Ortíz and Mark Teixeira bopped late-night bombs on April 10, 2015.
• Pollock hit the first multi-run home run by a Dodger, in the 16th inning or later, in over a century, since Hi (Hello) Myers hit one in Philadelphia — on April 30, 1919! (Thank you, Doug Kern.)
• But it was the first game in history in which both teams hit a multi-run homer in the 15th or later, according to STATS. So wow.
IT TAKES TWO — Thanks to Jon Weisman, of Dodger Thoughts, for the late-night tweeting that inspired this gem. Over the first 28 half-innings of this game, every one of them featured no more than one run (and mostly no runs, obviously). But then …
There were three half-innings in a row in the 15th and 16th, with two runs. Had to fire that question past STATS, too — and learned that … in the entire modern era, dating back to 1901, there had been only one other game featuring at least 28 half-innings in a row of one or no runs, followed by at least three half-innings with two runs (or more). That was Astros 7, Mets 5, in 16 similarly surreal innings, on June 16, 1995. Joe Orsulak with the last out!
ZEROES ARE OVERRATED — Another hat tip to Jon Weisman for leading me down this rabbit hole.
So has that ever happened? A game in which 10 pitchers or more show up on the mound for any team, at least nine of them allow no earned runs and the 10th (the only one to get scored on) vultures the win? Since I’m only a glutton for so much punishment, I merely checked games before September — but did go all the way back to 1901.
And how many other games did I find that fit this description? If you guessed none, you win!
AND THAT’S NOT ALL — Want more? Sure. Why not?
• The Dodgers issued eight intentional walks in this game (of course, that’s a record). And that was in six innings (10th to 15th). The Orioles have issued eight intentional walks in the last calendar year. That was in 1,349 innings — in which they faced 5,168 hitters and had no interest in walking pretty much any of them.
• How’d all those Zombie Runners avoid scoring in extra innings? The two teams went a combined 0 for 12 with ZRISP (Zombie Runners in Scoring Position) from the 10th to the 12th. Then came a non-RBI single, followed by 0-for-another-12 with ZRISP, followed by yet another non-RBI single. So that’s how.
• The Dodgers used 15 players in the No. 9 hole. That’s a first in the modern era for games before September, Doug Kern reports.
• The Padres went a mind-blowing 4-for-52 in this game. According to our friends at Codify Baseball, no team in the modern era had ever gotten more at-bats and fewer hits in any game.
• Oh, and one more thing. The Dodgers had Corey Knebel commit an intentional balk in the 15th, to get Victor Caratini off second base so he couldn’t relay signals to Tatis. That went well. Two pitches later, Tatis whomped that game-tying homer. How many times had Knebel balked unintentionally in his career before that? That would be none. And the last time the Dodgers tried that intentional-balk trick, back in 2019 with Kenley Jansen on the mound, who was the hitter? Who else? Victor Caratini. Because…