The longest game in postseason history ended after 18 innings of baseball, as Brandon Belt hit a home run that eventually gave the San Francisco Giants a 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals and put them 2-0 up in the NLDS, heading back home to host the next two games, if necessary a fourth.
Over 44,000 fans began the game in the stands, but not all of them lasted the six hours and 23 minutes of poor hitting and some excellent pitching. Both teams used a combined 17 pitchers. Yusmeiro Petit of the Giants got himself something of a start in the end of the game, playing six innings and also getting to pick up the win, giving up just one hit while striking out seven during his stint. The game was closed by Hunter Strickland, not allowing a hit as he picked up the save.
Jordan Zimmermann almost finished with a complete game masterpiece but things got complicated for him on the final out. He twas taken out with just one to go, and Drew Storen couldn’t finish the job, allowing two hits, one of them a double to Pablo Sanvodal. It allowed Joe Panik, walked by Zimmermann before he was pulled out, to run for home. Buster Posey who was 3-for-6 on the day was thrown out at home on an incredibly close call, sending the game into extra innings.
The Nationals got their hit and run from Anthony Rendon, having an excellent day of 4-for-7 at the plate, hitting an RBI single that scored Asdrbual Cabrera in the third inning. Both teams combined to hit just 17-of-119, with a total of 34 strikeouts seen in the game. Tim Hudson had a great start for the Giants, playing 7.1 innings and striking out eight batters. Zimmermann gave up just three hits in his performance, yet it wasn’t enough without any offense.
Brandon Belt ended up as the hero with his home run, the first extra-innings home run for the Giants in a postseason game since 1954 in the World Series. The other home run of the sort was also hit in a world series back in 1933. It was Belt’s only hit of the game, finishing with 1-for-7. Five other players on both teams couldn’t get a single hit on six at-bats or more, including Bryce Harper with an awful 0-for-7.
The Nationals followed their plan of Zimmermann getting taken off for a closer in the ninth inning if things got a bit hairy. Yet it didn’t work out for them, as Storen simply blew his assignment. This series has been too close to call, and yet the Giants are up 2-0, with just enough offense at the right time to win by just one run for a second straight game.