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Yankees Defeat Cubs In 18-Inning Game That Broke Combined Strikeouts Record

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The New York Yankees played the Chicago Cubs last night at Wrigley Field - and played and played and played.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

They played into the morning, in fact. They tied in the bottom of the ninth and played to the 18th inning. For those of you who are math or baseball-challenged, that is nine more innings than usual.

MCEVERS: Six hours and five minutes of baseball, the longest major league game this season.

SIEGEL: There were many challenges.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DAN SHULMAN: You need some new baseballs. Four hundred and seventy-two pitches, 41 strikeouts, just shy of tying the major league record. We need a new supply of baseballs.

AARON BOONE: Rub 'em (ph) up. Rub 'em up.

SIEGEL: That's ESPN's Aaron Boone and Dan Shulman, used with permission of Major League Baseball.

MCEVERS: Another challenge for this marathon of a game was keeping the fans awake. One stretch at the seventh inning wasn't enough, so they stretched again in the 14th.

SIEGEL: A few innings later, their fortitude paid off.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SHULMAN: New major league record, 44th strikeout in a game.

MCEVERS: And yet that record did not stand. When the Yankees finally won in the 18th inning, the number of strikeouts was up to 48.

SIEGEL: They were thrown by 15 different pitchers for a total of 583 pitches in this very long baseball game.

MCEVERS: Not just long for players and fans. ESPN's Buster Olney set his own record.

BUSTER OLNEY: As a sideline reporter, you know, I have to remain in place basically from the first pitch to the end of the game. So I stopped drinking liquids at about 2 o'clock in the afternoon because I can't go to the bathroom during the course of the game. So the game started at 7:08. And we get to 1 o'clock, we get to the 18th inning, and I have a crisis developing.

MCEVERS: Happy to say crisis averted.

SIEGEL: A final note. This is not the longest major league baseball game ever. That honor belongs to the White Sox and the Brewers. In 1984, they played for eight hours and six minutes, 25 innings, before Chicago won.

(SOUNDBITE OF GEORGE BENSON'S "BENSON'S RIDER") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.