You see, I had every expectation that I would be home well before midnight from my sojourn to Wrigley Field. I was very, very wrong.
First, I had neglected to consider that the Cubs and the Rockies were starting two pitchers, Jackson and de la Rosa, each of whom seemed to qualify for the title of "human rain delay". By the time Jackson departed after four innings, a game time of around four hours seemed entirely likely. Having seen what was then the longest nine inning game in major league history at Wrigley Field some years ago, I was familiar with this phenomenon, although there hadn't actually been that much scoring. The Rockies put up three runs in the top of the first; the Cubs tied it up 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth.
As the hours ticked by, my compatriots gradually headed home, along with most of the other folks at the park. I checked in with daisy_knotwise who wished me luck and crawled into bed about 11:30 PM, by which time we were into extra innings. And no one was scoring, with the Rockies losing a runner on a suicide squeeze and the Cubs just generally unable to produce a critical hit.
We sang for the fourteenth inning stretch and the announcer pleaded for a run. None was forthcoming.
After 11 innings of relief, the Cubs finally ran out of pitchers and brought in John Baker, the backup catcher, to pitch. Flashing a 76 MPH fastball (Ack!), he induced a foul out, gave up a walk, and was bailed out by a 4-6-3 double play on a hard hit ball.
Naturally, Baker led off the bottom of the 16th against the Rockies' latest pitcher (who was actually a regular pitcher) with a walk. Bonifacio sacrificed him to second and then Alcantera, the second baseman, was hit in the foot with a pitch. Fortunately, he was able to walk it off, because the Cubs were also out of position players. Rizzo blooped a single to left to load the bases. And then Starlin Castro lined out to right field, allowing Baker to hustle home with the winning run ahead of the throw.
This was the longest game in terms of time in the history of Wrigley Field: six hours and twenty-seven minutes.
And it is emphatically time to go to bed.