Forty minutes after midnight at Angel Stadium on August 10th, 2014, crew chief Dale Scott removed his headset, raised his arm into the cool air, and twirled his fingers around in a clockwise motion to signify that the review umpire in New York agreed with the call on the field and that Albert Pujols’ home run in the 19th inning would stand. Mike Trout and Erick Aybar dumped what little there was left in the two Gatorade barrels on top of the Angel hero, and then the team quickly filed into hallway that leads to the clubhouse, feeling both happy and exhausted.
It was the longest game ever played at the Big A. It required 18 pitchers who combined to throw 558 pitches. Angel manager Mike Scioscia had to call on starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker to enter the game as a reliever in the 16th inning. There were five position player substitutions. One of them required Albert Pujols to switch from first base to third base in the 14th inning to accommodate CJ Cron who entered the game as the new first baseman after he had pinch hit for third baseman John McDonald (who had entered the game as a pinch runner for third baseman David Freese).
The game was tied 3-3 after nine innings, and both teams scored a run in the 14th inning. The Red Sox run in the top of the inning was a gift. Dustin Pedroia stole second base while David Ortiz was batting, but the shift was on for Ortiz, and relief pitcher Cory Rasmus forgot to cover third base, so Pedroia kept on running to the undefended base and then scored on an Ortiz sacrifice fly. The Angels loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning, but they were able to scratch out just one run and tie the game again.
On defense, Pujols got to touch just one ball as the team’s third baseman, and that resulted in the final out of the top of the 19th inning after Pujols gloved an Ortiz grounder and threw to Cron at first base. Pujols was then the first Angel batter in the bottom of the inning, and he launched an opposite field fly ball that just cleared the out of town scoreboard in right field. Red Sox manager John Farrell was hoping that the review umpire in New York might not see it that way, so Farrell walked onto the field while the Angels began to celebrate and requested a review, but Dale Scott was able to twirl his finger and finally put this one to bed.