Thursday afternoon in Oakland, the Yankees and Athletics played an 18-inning, five-hour, 35-minute marathon at the O.co Coliseum. Bonus baseball can be fun, but only up until a point. Around the 13th or 14th inning, the offensive futility becomes a chore to watch, especially when the scheduled afternoon game drags into when “Jeopardy” is on.
The A’s eventually won 3-2 on Nate Freiman’s RBI single off the great Mariano Rivera. It mercifully put an end to a game that saw the Yankees go 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position, along with Travis Hafner, Kevin Youkilis and Vernon Wells combining for an 0-for-22 performance.
Perhaps even worse than that trio was home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor who decided to theatrically punch out Athletics’ left fielder Seth Smith on a 2-1 pitch from Adam Warren in the 11th inning. We’d be a little more forgiving if Bucknor’s strike zone wasn’t a train wreck throughout the duration. At least he was able to laugh about it. 18-inning games need levity.
Replay now, Bud! (or something.)