It was so long there were two president's races. It was so long that there was a 14th inning stretch. It was so long that some of the late starting afternoon games were finished before this one closed out in the 16th. It was just amazing.
Bryce Harper had one pinch hit in the bottom of the 9th smashed a home run and sent it to extra innings.
There were opportunities from both teams to try and end the game earlier but that didn't happen. Then it appeared in the bottom of the 15th that it would indeed end. End with the Nats coming out on top. Danny Espinosa had walked. But there were two outs. The pitche , Perez, was due up. But since there no other players left to pinch hit.
Perez hit a bunt and well this is what happened:
Perez saw third baseman Eduardo Nunez playing back, so he dropped down a bunt in his direction. Catcher John Ryan Murphy picked up the ball instead of letting it go foul. His throw was wide of first base, and Espinosa scored to tie the game. The Nationals’ dugout went wild.It was on to the 16th. The Twins were up. They went three up three down. Their last batter was their pitcher, Michael Tonkin. He hit a ball and ran as fast as he could to 1st base. He was out. And he was mad that he was out. He took his batting helmet off and threw it to the ground. I thought he's going to be rattled when he gets back on the mound. Sure enough he was rattled. Up comes when Chris Heisey and smash out of the park it goes Nats win.
A little about the game from the Post:
the zaniness finally ended in the 16th inning, after 5 hours 56 minutes, when Chris Heisey smashed his first walkoff home run in the Nationals’ 6-5 win over the Minnesota Twins. Thirty-eight players, including 14 pitchers, appeared in the game. The teams combined for 516 pitches, 27 hits and 32 strikeouts.
“I feel like I just came out of the twilight zone,” Nationals Manager Dusty Baker said. “Man, that was some game. That was a roller coaster game of emotions.”
The Nationals had many chances to avoid this situation. They stranded 14 runners, many in the early innings, a combination of the Twins’ good defense, notably in the outfield, and the Nationals’ missed swings.
A little more from a column by Thomas Boswell:
For the rest of this year — and perhaps longer, depending on how this season turns out — the Washington Nationals can simply refer to their 6-5, 16-inning win over Minnesota on Sunday at Nationals Park as “The Twilight Zone Game.”
“That’s the craziest game I’ve [ever] seen,” said Nats Manager Dusty Baker, who coined the “Twilight Zone” line afterward. “[Coaches] Chris [Speier] and Davey [Lopes] and I, we talked about it. We’ve seen thousands of games. We always say: ‘Go to the ballpark; you always see something you’ve never seen before.’ Well, I certainly hadn’t seen anything like this.”
Who did Baker put in? Deep-bench sub Chris Heisey. Who won the gamer with a walk-off home run in the 16th inning? In this “Twilight Zone,” who else could it be but Heisey. Yes, the man who subbed for the MVP also played hero, just like Harper.
So I've been to the two longest games in Nats' history. I know for sure it is a game I will remember for a very long time.
Celebrating Heisey crossing the plate.
Here comes the gatorade.