Games of 20 innings among rarest finds. Mets' wild victory over Cardinals less common than no-hitter.
The Mets and the Cardinals should demand a recount.
Not of the number of innings they played on Saturday; 20 more than sufficed.
But of the number of headlines they received, in comparison to the big-type odes to Ubaldo Jimenez.
So the Colorado right-hander pitched a no-hitter in Atlanta. Yawn. Jimenez's no-hitter was the 243rd in Major League history. By comparison, the Mets and the Cardinals played only the 42nd game lasting 20-plus innings, and only the 37th such marathon played to a conclusion, if you discount the five which ended in ties -- including the longest game in history, the legendary 26-inning 1-1 deadlock between the Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Robins (soon to be Dodgers) on May 1, 1920.
Then again, neither Jimenez nor the Rockies had thrown a no-hitter before, and playing way beyond a second seventh-inning stretch was old hat for both the Mets and the Redbirds.
In fact, they had already done it against each other. On Sept. 11, 1974, in the second-longest game in history, St. Louis was a 4-3 survivor in 25 innings against the Mets at Shea Stadium.
The Cardinals appear on the list one other time (a 20-inning affair against the Marlins in 2003), while the Mets make two earlier appearances (23 innings in 1964 against the Giants and 24 innings in 1968 in Houston, both losses).
Perusing the list of the 20-plus-inning games reveals other interesting factoids:
• The Seattle Pilots existed for only one year before morphing into the Milwaukee Brewers, but that was long enough for both them and for Sicks Stadium to make the list. The Pilots lost a 20-inning exercise to the Red Sox there on July 27, 1969.
• Target Field warning: The Twins went 20-plus both at the Metrodome (1993, against the Indians) and their preceding Metropolitan Stadium (1967 against the Senators and '72 against the Brewers).
• Including their early incarnation as the Robins, the Dodgers have been the most long-winded team, participating in eight games lasting 20-plus innings -- an impressive 19 percent of the total. They did it twice within 10 weeks in 1989 (22-inning games against the Astros and the Expos).