Hello, fellow Sleep Refusers. John here to take you through tonight’s (probably last night’s, by the time this ends) game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers. Let’s take a look at the lineups.

  • So on the surface, the Dodgers have the pitching edge tonight. Austin Gomber has pitched well, but in limited time. Meanwhile, Alex Wood is an established Good Baseball Pitcher. But it was the St. Louis Cardinals who struck first in the top of the first, as Jose Martinez, batting second with Yadier Molina getting an increasingly rare day off, smashed a beautiful, mighty dinger over the left field wall of Dodger Stadium. 1-0 Cardinals.
  • Austin Gomber found himself in trouble in the bottom half of the first, allowing consecutive singles to Brian Dozier and Justin Turner before hitting Manny Machado with a pitch. With the bases loaded and nobody out, things looked dire, but Gomber recorded what turned out to be a major out via a Cody Bellinger pop-up to catcher Francisco Pena. The next batter, Matt Kemp (probably the worst defensive right fielder in this game, somehow), hit a rocket  but a slick play by Kolten Wong, followed by a throw to first base, led to an inning-ending double play.
  • In the top of the fourth inning, with a somewhat lackluster-looking bottom of the lineup, the Cardinals got something real going. Marcell Ozuna led things off with a single, and two batters later, Harrison Bader singled himself. A Kolten Wong ground out advanced the runners to second and third, and Francisco Pena was intentionally walked. Bases loaded!
  • Oh, it was for Austin Gomber. Gomber struck out swinging. Still 1-0 Cardinals.
  • Speaking of Gomber, he survived through four innings and counting. He hasn’t been awesome–three walks, three strikeouts, some hard-hit contact allowed–but he’s still going. So that’s a plus.
  • The top of the fifth inning had a bit more offense than those who watched the game were accustomed to seeing. Things began with a Matt Carpenter double, a play in which Carpenter was hit with a throw from right field while sliding into second because life is unfair (but he seemed fine afterward, despite being slightly shaken). The next batter, Jose Martinez, singled to right field, scoring Carpenter, and his right field counterpart Kemp misplayed the ball, allowing Jose Martinez to reach second base.
  • Paul DeJong and Marcell Ozuna walked! So now it’s bases loaded and nobody out and the Cardinals already scored a run. And now comes Pedro Baez, the slowest pitcher I have ever seen pitching.
  • The first batter is Patrick Wisdom, and he draws a walk. The plate appearance takes like five days because Pedro Baez is aggressively opposed to people watching baseball, but a run is a run and it’s 3-0 Cardinals. This is good. I like this.
  • And then the dullness happens. Harrison Bader struck out looking. Kolten Wong fouled out to first. And Francisco Pena, who never plays for a reason, struck out looking. 3-0 Cardinals, but the team also left a chance to blow open the doors on the game on the table.
  • So you know that part about Austin Gomber just kinda surviving? Well, it’s time for the fifth inning, and despite Mike Shildt’s frequently quick hook, the manager showed faith in Austin Gomber tonight. That made things interesting. I don’t want interesting, though. I want sleep as soon as possible.
  • Brian Dozier walked. Justin Turner doubled, advancing Dozier to third. Manny Machado singled, bringing home a run and putting runners on the corners. The Cardinals finally recorded an out with the next batter (the lefty Cody Bellinger, whose handedness was why I wasn’t screaming to pull Gomber at this point), but it nevertheless scored another run. 3-2 Cardinals.
  • Matt Kemp struck out swinging. Hey, remember when he started the All-Star Game this year?
  • The next batter, center fielder Enrique Hernandez (whose common nickname I’m going to avoid using just because honestly I’m not sure what the proper way to spell it is at this point), hit what looked like an RBI single, but a delightfully rangy stop by Paul DeJong, followed by a terrific recovery and throw to first base to beat the runner, kept the game at 3-2 entering the sixth.
  • Besides Austin Gomber being removed for a pinch hitter, nothing of particular note happened in the top of the sixth. That’s fine. It’s 11:30. Get this game moving.
  • Dakota Hudson showing up big in the sixth, striking out Chris Taylor and Yasmani Grandal. He walked Joc Pederson but got the force out at second on a Brian Dozier groundout.
  • Oh yeah, Kenta Maeda is coming out of the bullpen. The Dodgers have such an embarrassment of riches depth-wise and yet here they are, with a worse record than the Cardinals.
  • Dakota Hudson was less dominant in the seventh. While he recorded two outs, back-to-back walks of Cody Bellinger and Matt Kemp brought Max Muncy to the plate (because, again, they have EVERY PLAYER IN BASEBALL) as a pinch-hitter for Enrique Hernandez. And in turn, the Cardinals turned to Jordan Hicks.
  • It’s officially Tuesday and also the seventh inning, I hate this stupid game. Pedro Baez, dude.
  • Aaaaand Max Muncy singles to left field, bringing home Bellinger and getting Kemp to third base and my God if this game goes to extra innings. Muncy ended up stealing second on the “try to force a rundown” play that for some reason isn’t attempted every single time there’s runners on the corners.
  • Jordan Hicks is kinda throwing darts all over the place, and he walks Chris Taylor to load the bases. This game would be excruciatingly slow and long even if it were on Central time. But Hicks recovered nicely to strike out Yasmani Grandal, stranding the bases loaded.
  • The Cardinals offense is just the most boring thing in the world, so let’s just jump to the bottom of the eighth. Jordan Hicks is back out there. Yasiel Puig is pinch-hitting for Kenta Maeda. On the bright side, the Dodgers are finally out of bench players.
  • Puig got an infield single because there’s no way those who stayed up for this game will be rewarded for doing so.
  • One of the most impressive commitments of the modern St. Louis Cardinals is their steadfast refusal to employ a backup catcher. Like, they don’t even try. Maybe the reason we all believe Yadier Molina is actually the best catcher ever is the point of comparison is Francisco Pena allowing a passed ball and then not being able to find the ball and Yasiel Puig advancing to third base.
  • On the bright side, Jordan Hicks pitched better. He struck out two batters in the eighth, but in some pitching matchup hijinks, the Cardinals intentionally walked Manny Machado to allow lefty Brett Cecil to face the lefty Cody Bellinger.
  • And it worked! A weakly hit fly ball to Harrison Bader and it’s 3-3 going into the ninth inning. Please score some runs in the top of the ninth. Not sure what the perfect balance is to assure a Cardinals win while also not taking up that much time. Three? Four? Let’s go for that.
  • Never mind, forgot Kenley Jansen was back, that’s not happening.
  • JEDD GYORKO YOU BEAUTIFUL MANIAC THIS IS REVENGE FOR LIKE HALF OF THE DODGERS LINEUP STEALING YOUR OLD WALKUP SONG ISN’T IT. Anyway, Los Angeles is basically Super Far North San Diego and thus Gyorko obviously hit a home run.
  • AND MATT CARPENTER TOO HE’S BACK BABY. 5-3 Cardinals. One more run, let’s doooooooo it.
  • Well, they didn’t get the extra run, but a two run lead over a team that doesn’t have remaining bench players is probably safe. Gonna brush my teeth and get in my pajamas just in preparation.
  • Bud Norris walks Matt Kemp and the big home run hitter Max Muncy arrives at the plate because life is an endless array of suffering and sleep deprivation.
  • Muncy fouled off like 30 pitches or whatever (six, actually) and it was started to feel like Matt Carpenter against Clayton Kershaw in the 2013 NLCS, but eventually, at what was clearly going to be Ball 4, Muncy couldn’t hold his check swing and we are now one double play pitch away from ending this game. Or from tying this game.
  • Norris strikes out Chris Taylor! Got him to chase high on a 1-2 pitch up high and…let’s just close the book. Norris is giving off a distinctly Isringhausian vibe of “I’m going to get the save but I’m going to make you suffer for it” and this has been that.
  • Up next is Yasmani Grandal. The bullpen is totally gonna be destroyed for tomorrow, with Daniel Poncedeleon starting, so you might as well get a win to show for it come on guys.
  • Norris is working outside again and Yasiel Puig is looming. I’d rather just get Grandal out here, personally. Certainly don’t put the tying run on first base, if you can avoid it.
  • On pitch #29…STRIIIIIIKE THREE. Thank God. Let’s go to bed, folks.
  • So the Cardinals won the Austin Gomber vs. Alex Wood game in which a scarecrow played catcher. I like that. Let’s play again!

One thought on “Dingers propel Cardinals to victory over Dodgers in longest game in baseball history

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