A lot of fun facts from A's-Angels marathon
Six things you need to know, whether you realized it or not, about that 19-inning classic between the A's and Angels in Oakland on Monday night:
Brandon Moss hit a home run in the sixth inning of this game. Then, about 13 innings -- and half a lifetime -- later, he fired a walk-off homer. Well, you don't see a guy do that every day. In fact, only six other men in history have ever gone at least 13 innings between home runs in any game.
The bad news: Had Moss waited just one more inning, he would have tied Vern Stephens' record for most innings between home runs, according to the Sultan of Swat Stats, SABR home run historian David Vincent. Hate when that happens.
Here's your list of all the guys before Moss who went at least 13 innings in between homers, courtesy of the Sultan:
13: Tony Oliva, Twins, Sept. 6, 1969 (third and 16th)
13: Ken Caminiti, Astros, Aug. 20, 1999 (third and 16th)
13: Placido Polanco, Tigers, Aug. 5, 2008 (first and 14th)
13: Garrett Jones, Pirates, July 17, 2009 (first and 14th)
13: Joey Votto, Reds, Aug. 28, 2011 (first and 14th)
Two related notes: (A) You'll notice that none of those other men had to wait around until the 19th to hit home run No. 2; and (B) Moss broke the Oakland record, held by none other than Reginald M. Jackson, who went 12 innings between trots on June 11, 1969.
The final score of this marathon was A's 10, Angels 8. So how often do you see at least 18 runs scored in a game that goes 19 innings (or longer)? Correct answer: Only three other times in the past 74 years. That's how often. Here they come:
May 1, 1991: Brewers 10, White Sox 9, in 19 innings
July 4, 1985: Mets 16, Braves 13, in 19 very famous innings
May 21, 1977: Padres 11, Expos 8, in 21 innings
And that's it, according to baseball-reference.com's fabulous Play Index. The only other times it happened in the 98-season Play Index era: May 17, 1939 (Dodgers-Cubs), and April 30, 1919 (Dodgers-Phillies). Both of those games ended in 9-9 ties, due to a lack of light bulbs.
There were a whooooollleee lot of pitches launched in this game -- 298 by the Angels, 299 by the A's. The last time both teams threw at least 298 in any game was that fabled 19-inning Pirates-Braves marathon on July 26, 2011 (Braves 306, Pirates 303).
Meanwhile in Miami, the Marlins and Mets also played a game Monday that featured more than 500 pitches. Last day to give us two games like that: Aug. 15, 2006 -- a Diamondbacks-Rockies game that went 18 innings and 514 pitches, and an Astros-Cubs game that went 18 innings and 542 pitches.
Brandon Moss is now the answer to this fun trivia question: "Who's the only active player with a 19th-inning walk-off?" In case you're wondering, Mike Cameron hit the last one, on Aug. 1, 2000.
But Moss is NOT the only active player with a home run in the 19th inning. Pedro Alvarez hit one in the top of the 19th on Aug. 19, 2012, in the most recent episode in the Pirates' now-annual tradition of yearly 19-inning tussles.
We know what you're thinking: How many players in history have hit a walk-off home run later in a game than Moss? Excellent question. And the answer is … three, says the Sultan. Fun trio:
May 8, 1984: Harold Baines, White Sox, 25th
Aug. 31, 1993: Pedro Munoz, Twins, 22nd
May 26, 1973: Dick Allen, White Sox, 21st
Moss joins a group of just four other men who have ended a game with a bomb in the 19th. Those four:
Aug. 1, 2000: Mike Cameron, Mariners
Aug. 10, 1972: Joe Rudi, A's
June 4, 1967: Andy Etchebarren, Orioles
June 14, 1963: Willie Kirkland, Indians
If Moss is looking for something to aspire to, no player has hit TWO home runs in the 19th inning or later, walk-off or otherwise. So that'll give him a noble goal to keep him going when the next extra-inning game comes along -- assuming he can stay awake.
One final late-breaking astounding fact, courtesy of Baseball Prospectus' Daniel Rathman:
Moss also became just the second player in the live-ball era to hit two home runs AND roll up a Golden Sombrero in the same game. The other: Evan Longoria on Aug. 4, 2009.