A normal Washington Nationals vs. Milwaukee Brewers game at the end of June usually isn’t a headline grabber. But, on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning the two squared off in an epic 16 inning marathon that ended 4-2 in favor of the visiting Nationals.
A game in the middle of the summer nearly went two full games before being decided. It took a 2-run home run from third baseman Ryan Zimmerman in the top of the 16th to give the Nationals a second-straight win over the Brewers.
It took everything from everyone to get through the 5 hour, 22 minute marathon, which was the longest game in Nationals history.
Milwaukee had to trot out Mike Fiers, who had 22 pitches on him from the night before, and he had to go four innings and over 50 pitches on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.
Naturally, he was credited with the loss after giving up the Zimmerman home run in the top of the 16th. However, that wasn’t the only strange occurrence during this game.
For instance, fans who braved the five-plus hour marathon were treated to not one, not two…but three sausage races to keep things entertaining.
On the field the two teams put fans through plenty of agony, as the two teams combined for 21 hits, struck out a combined 31 times and had five total players get more than one hit.
It led Brewers manager Ron Roenicke to fume about his team’s batting, and not just the lack of production, but the way at-bats went during the 16 innings.
“We had plenty of chances,” Roenicke said, via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “We had bad at-bats. We lost because we didn’t get good at-bats when we needed hits.”
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article, two at-bats from outfielder Carlos Gomez were particularly irksome for Roenicke.
In the 13th inning, the Nationals walked Jonathan Lucroy to get to Gomez. With the winning run at third, he lined out on the first pitch to the shortstop.
The 15th inning was worse.
Again, the Nationals walked Lucroy to pitch to Gomez. Again, he lunged at the first pitch and popped up with the winning run at second.
Roenicke said he didn’t mind his players swinging away, but he really took exception to those two at-bats.
This was the longest game of the MLB season to date, and it was perhaps fitting that it occurred between two teams at the top of their respective divisions. Milwaukee is up 4.5 games on St. Louis in the central, while Washington is up two games on Atlanta heading in to the end of June.