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In Houston, everybody gets to play for the Cubs
2006-08-15 22:43
by Bob Timmermann

In the 18th inning tonight at Minute Maid Park, Matt Murton of the Cubs grounded a single to right to score two runs that held up for an 8-6 win over the Astros in which the Cubs manager Dusty Baker used all 25 players on his roster.

The Cubs missed out on tying the NL record for most players used in an extra inning game. That's 27, which has happened four times, and not surprisingly, they all happened after September 1 when rosters expand.

  1. September 13, 1974 by the Cardinals at Philadelphia.
  2. September 21, 1978 by the Cubs at home against Pittsburgh.
  3. September 2 and 3, 1986 by the Cubs at home against Houston in a game that was suspended after the 14th inning and resumed the next day.
  4. September 28, 1986 by the Dodgers at San Francisco.

The all time record for players used in an extra inning game is 30 by Oakland on September 19, 1972.

Special credit should be given to the Kansas City Royals who used 27 players in a 9-inning game on September 10, 1969 against the Angels.

I don't believe a team has used all 25 players on its roster during a time when rosters were not expanded. The Dodgers used all 25 players on August 17 and 18, 1982 against the Cubs in a 21 inning game. The Cardinals used 25 players in a game at Los Angeles on April 16, 1959, but at that time, teams carried 28 players from Opening Day until 30 days in to the season. The Cubs used 25 players in this game against the Pirates that started on April 20, 1986 at Wrigley Field, which was suspended after 14 innings and resumed later. Much later. As on August 11. And some of the players in the game in April weren't around in August and under baseball's rules, you can replace them with new players.

Furthermore, the Cubs used 10 pitchers:

  1. Juan Mateo
  2. Will Ohman
  3. Michael Wuertz
  4. David Aardsma
  5. Scott Eyre
  6. Bobby Howry
  7. Roberto Novoa
  8. Angel Guzman
  9. Ryan Dempster
  10. Rich Hill

The Astros used eight pitchers and the combined total of 18 pitchers tied a major league mark that had been set four times before, all of them in September, most recently on September 11, 2004 by the Phillies and Mets. But this mark was set in August!

By my count, there were 542 pitches thrown in the game.

Oh, and to finish our story, Arizona beat Colorado 2-1 in 18 innings. Just 15 pitcher used in that game. 21 Diamondbacks played and 20 Rockies got in to the game.

And Dusty Baker did not want to make the mistake that this Vermont Little League coach did.

2006-08-15 23:35:34
1.   StolenMonkey86
Bob, Arizona and Colorado also went 18 innings. When's the last time there were two 18 inning games on the same night, and for that matter in the same league?
2006-08-15 23:36:35
2.   Greg Brock
First time we had two 18 inning games since...You guessed it...1918.

It was a good night for the number 18.

2006-08-15 23:41:09
3.   Bob Timmermann
Was that two games of 18 innings or two games of at least 18 innings?
2006-08-15 23:46:32
4.   Greg Brock
I'm trying to research it as we speak.
2006-08-16 00:01:20
5.   Bob Timmermann
Elias says there have never been two games this long on the same day ever.
2006-08-16 00:07:25
6.   Greg Brock
See, that's amazing, because I've heard two different news outlets say something different.

For what it's worth, the Senators, Tigers, and White Sox all scored runs in the 18th inning in 1918. I can't nail down the dates, because I'm too tired, and I have a staff meeting at school tomorrow.

I believe both you and Elias.

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