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Red Sox And Rays Play The Most Painful Baseball Game Of The Year

Like Red Sox-Rays, it would not end and makes you fall into a coma

You may live and breathe football, but even something like this has to make you feel a little dead inside.

Basketball might your passion, but you might have to re-think your priorities after watching something like this.

I consider myself a die-hard baseball fan. But on Sunday night, Red Sox versus Rays — whoa, baby. That one is going to leave a mark.

There have been games this season that lasted longer in terms of both innings and minutes, but even Adam Dunn hasn’t been as excruciating to watch this season.

Sixteen innings and 344 minutes. One run. Eight combined hits. Someone do me a favor and gauge my eyes out!

Seriously, when’s the last time you saw a box score so long yet so clean?

It wouldn’t have been as bad if there was just something, anything, going on in extra innings. Granted, the Red Sox left a combined eight runners on base from innings nine through 11 (Six was Tampa Bay’s grand total of runners stranded). If my baseball math is correct, Boston was, like, one away from a record in those three innings, no?

But with the Rays, futile needs an additional example in the dictionary. During a stretch from the 9th into the 15th inning, 17 of 18 Rays were retired. And how about this for effort:

10th inning: Nine pitches.

11th inning: Eighteen pitches, which represented a huge resistance.

12th inning: Twelve pitches.

13th inning: Ten pitches.

14th inning: Five pitches.

15th inning: Twelve pitches. And that came in an inning where two Rays got hit by pitches with one out, their biggest rally after regulation by far.

16th inning: Eleven pitches.

The Red Sox had just five hits, but at least they were able to keep their half of the innings somewhat watchable because of 12 walks. Compared to the Rays, Boston looked like an offensive juggernaut.

The Rays mustered all of three hits. Here’s the list of teams that have gotten three or fewer hits in a game that lasted at least 16 innings. Don’t worry, it’s a rather slim group. Three teams have reached four hits in a 16-inning game. It looked like the Rays were either tired or didn’t care at the plate as the “action” trudged along.

That lack of attack is my major gripe about this one. In the three most recent games that ended 1-0 after a minimum of 15 scoreless innings, there were no fewer than 13 combined hits. This game had eight. EIGHT HITS IN 102 AT-BATS! Hell, back in 1989, the Dodgers and Expos got together for a one-run, 22-inning affair. But at least they were courteous enough to keep fans entertained with 33 combined hits.

I’m sure if you were at the game in Tampa, you could still make it fun. Free baseball never sucks, even if it extends past 1 a.m. and is about as lively as “The White Ribbon.” With baseball, the longer, the better is always true. Once you’re at the park, why would you ever want to leave?

But if you were like me tonight — sitting at home in the dark at your kitchen table, illuminated only by your TV set and computer, dining on strawberry-cherry gelatin and water, simply waiting for something to break so that you can go to bed — this game took a toll on you like a steady barrage of bricks to the face.

When this game was in the seventh inning, it looked like it would be over in 2:30. Instead, it lasted 5:44. I’m off now to nurse my pain and search for all of the time that baseball just stole from me.

Of course, I’m kidding myself. I’ll be back watching tomorrow. Although I must say my fandom may have wavered at around the 14th inning.

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