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Big League Stew

The Juice: Marathon Saturday includes 20-inning win for Marlins and 18-inning Blue Jays victory

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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To say Saturday was a wild day in baseball would be an understatement. In fact, ESPN's Jayson Stark tells us it was only the second day in MLB history where two games were played that lasted 18 innings or longer.

We’ll begin with the longest game of the day, which is also the longest game of the season. It took place at Citi Field in New York and the exciting pitching matchup featured 20-year-old Jose Fernandez for the Marlins against Mets ace Matt Harvey. It’s actually the second time those two young pitchers have faced off this season. The first time, on April 29, was a 15-inning game won by the Marlins, 4-3. On Saturday, the teams managed to go five innings longer, with the Marlins squeezing out a 2-1 victory in 20 on Adeiny Hechavarria's RBI single.

Incredibly, the same two pitchers matching up in multiple games of 15 or more innings in the same season has happened before, but you have to go all the way back to 1884. That's even before Bernando LaPolla was born, regardless of which date of birth you prefer to recognize. According to ESPN, Jim Whitney (Boston Beaneaters) and Old Hoss Radbourn (Providence Grays) were the pitchers.

Among the other interesting facts surrounding the game: Mets starter Shaun Marcum was actually called on to throw eight full innings of relief. The last time any pitcher threw eight innings in relief was Scott Sanderson when he pitched for the Cubs in 1989. The Mets also set a new franchise record in futility by going 0 for 19 with runners in scoring position. That will sting for awhile.

Meanwhile, in Toronto: The Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays were engaging in their own marathon at Rogers Centre on Saturday afternoon that required 18 innings to resolve. The home standing Blue Jays finally pulled out the 4-3 victory on Rajai Davis' walkoff single to conclude what amounted to the longest game in the history of both franchises.

The most interesting sidebar here? Try this one on. The winning pitcher for Toronto was Aaron Loup. The loser for Texas was Ross Wolf. For those who can translate French, “Loup” is their word for “wolf".

I almost feel like there's no way we can top that, but there's plenty more baseball to cover. For more wildness on these games, though, check out the water cooler below.

Eleven is plenty: In a game that was tame by comparison, the Minnesota Twins went in to Washington and knocked off Nationals 4-3 on Ryan Doumit's RBI single in the 11th. A good thing, too, since the teams are scheduled for a day-night doubleheader Sunday to make up for Friday's rainout.

Pettitte wins No. 250: On most days, Pettitte's milestone 250th victory would make the headline. On Saturday, it was forced to play third or fourth fiddle to all of the madness. Pettitte earned the victory in the Yankees 3-1 win over the Mariners, and the cherry on top might be that his son, Josh Pettitte, was drafted by the Yankees in the 37th round.

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MORE SCORES

Angels 9, Red Sox 5; Red Sox 7, Angels 2: Luckily for them, they only needed the minimum 18 innings for two games.

Pirates 6, Cubs 2: A.J. Burnett falls two outs short of a complete game shutout thanks to Alfonso Soriano's two-run homer.

Tigers 6, Indians 4: Cleveland loses it's sixth straight and falls under .500 at 30-31.

Rays 8, Orioles 0: They're playing leapfog in the AL East. Tampa moves past Baltimore into third place.

White Sox 4, A's 1: Exhale, Hawk. You can finally celebrate a White Sox victory.

Brewers 4, Phillies 3: Milwaukee prospect Tyler Thornberg was 0-7 with a 6.75 ERA in 12 starts for Triple-A Nashville. So naturally he earned his first big league win in his season debut on Saturday.

Reds 4, Cardinals 2: Cincinnati has defeated St. Louis three times this season. Mat Latos was their winning pitcher in each.

Royals 7, Astros 2: So much for Houston's hot streak. They've lost three in a row while Kansas City's winning streak extends to four.

Braves 2, Dodgers 1: Kris Medlen held Yasiel Puig to one single in three at-bats. He also homered to support his own cause.

Giants 10, Diamondbacks 5: San Francisco averaged three runs over Madison Bumgarner's first 12 starts. Needless to say, he appreciated the boost here.

''I think moving forward, guys can kind of reach back in their mind and say, that 20-inning game we didn't give up. If we're not going to give up now, we're not giving up.'' Slowey said.

— Winning pitcher Kevin Slowey on how the Marlins can use Saturday's 20-inning victory to their advantage mentally. Sounded good when he said it, but we'll just have to see about that.

View photo

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(Getty)

Doc Gooden and Don Mattingly meet up prior to the Old Timer's Game played at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night.

Marathon edition.

• When you put the two marathon games together, there were 38 innings played in 11 hours and 53 minutes, with only 10 runs scored.

According to Eye on Baseball, 1,089 pitches were thrown. In eight games this month, Oakland A's pitchers have thrown 1,086 pitches.

• Perhaps the craziest number is 23, as in 23 different pitchers threw scoreless innings in those two ballgames.

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