NEW YORK — They did … what?
There comes a point where the outcome of a marathon extra-inning game ceases to possess significance. At a certain point, it becomes a head-scratching phenomenon that defies comprehension, and that must be embraced for its absurdity, when the inning count becomes so unfamiliar — 15th … 16th … 17th — that it becomes disorienting.
“I’m delirious,” admitted Red Sox starter Wade Miley, nearly six hours after he’d left the game and minutes before he hustled to a 2:45 a.m. team bus retreating from Yankee Stadium to the hotel for a short night of sleep.
The Red Sox won, 6-5, Steven Wright finally converting the third opportunity he received in a four-inning span to turn a lead into a victory in 19 innings. When the Sox blew three leads — with Edward Mujica failing to lock down a save opportunity in the ninth, instead giving up a solo homer to Chase Headley, and then Wright twice getting touched for runs (once in the 16th inning, once in the 18th) — some thought the game an endless exercise reminiscent of the Iowa Baseball Confederacy.
Others chose not to dwell on the possible exploration of the infinite.
“All good things come to an end at some point,” said Sox manager John Farrell.
The contest was one unlike any other experienced by many of the participants, with a number of markers of its distinctiveness:
■ The 6-hour, 49-minute affair was the longest in Red Sox history and the longest home game in Yankees history. That duration doesn’t include a 16-minute delay for a brief light outage.
■ Xander Bogaerts entered the game with a robust .364/.462/.545 line. Through the first nine innings, he dropped that line to .267/.353/.400. He then reached base in five straight plate appearances — all in extra innings — with a walk and four straight singles in extra innings, boosting his line back up to .421/.500/.526.
■ Per Elias, Bogaerts is the first Red Sox player since at least 1947 with four or more hits in extra innings. Alex Rios, in 2013, was the last big league player to do it.
|24||Sept. 1, 1906||vs. PHA||4-1, L|
|20||Sept. 3-4, 1981||vs. SEA||8-7, L|
|20||July 27, 1969||at SEP||5-3, W|
|20||Aug. 29, 1967||at NYY||4-3, L|
|20||July 4, 1905||vs. PHA||4-2, L|
|19||April 10-11, 2015||at NYY||6-5, W|
|19||Aug. 9, 2014||at LAA||5-4, L|
|19||July 9, 2006||at CWS||6-5, L|
|19||Aug. 1, 2000||at SEA||5-4, L|
|19||April 11, 1992||at CLE||7-5, W|
|19||July 13, 1951||at CWS||5-4, L|
|18||Aug. 25, 2001||at TEX||8-7, L|
|18||June 5, 2001||vs. DET||4-3, W|
|18||Aug. 25, 1968||at BAL||3-2, L|
|18||April 16, 1967||at NYY||7-6, L|
|18||Sept. 5, 1927||vs. NYY||12-11, W|
■ Through nine innings, Mookie Betts was 1-for-4 with a missile of a double and a walk, giving him a season line of .235/.316/.471. He then struck out in each of his next four plate appearances before delivering the game-winning sacrifice fly, leaving the game with a season line of .190/.250/.321.
■ Betts had never struck out more than two times in a big league game. He doubled that total in the Friday-to-Saturday affair — with all of the punchouts coming in extra innings. The 22-year-old said he’d never been punched out four times.
■ Betts and Pedroia each had 10 plate appearances, tied for the most by any team member since at least 1914. They joined Jim Rice, Jerry Remy, and Dwight Evans as the only Sox players to hit double-digit plate appearances in a game in that 102-season expanse, with the trio of Rice, Remy, and Evans having done it in a 20-inning, 8-7 home loss to the Mariners on Sept. 3, 1981.
■ Starters Wade Miley (90) and Nathan Eovaldi (94) combined to throw 184 pitches. Each bullpen then threw more pitches than the two starters combined. Yankees relievers logged 238 pitches. Members of the Red Sox bullpen combined to accumulate 206 pitches. “That’s crazy. That’s insane,” said Miley. Wright got to 78 pitches in his five innings of work for the win. Rogers tallied 81 pitches in 4 2/3 innings.
■ The Yankees bullpen pitched a mid-game shutout, working nine consecutive scoreless innings from the seventh through the 15th inning.
■ The Red Sox left 20 men on base, tied for the fourth-most in a single game since 1945.
■ First pitch on Saturday is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. “Game 3 starts in about an hour,” Farrell smirked afterwards. The start time is actually just under 11 hours removed from the 2:13 a.m. conclusion of the Friday-to-Saturday game.
Follow Alex Speier on Twitter @alexspeier.