ESPN.com wrote:The Strangest But Truest Game of the Year
Nothing in baseball makes for more spectacular megaweirdness than the old suspended-game trick. Fortunately for us Strange But True addicts, the Astros and Nationals pulled that one on us in 2009.
They started the game May 5 in Washington. They finished it July 9 in Houston. And because the baseball historians will insist that even the stuff that happened in July in Houston actually occurred in Washington in May, this game produced all of this distinctive madness:
• The Astros became the first team since the 1975 Twins to lose a game on a walk-off hit IN THEIR OWN BALLPARK.
• The Nationals pulled off the challenging feat of actually winning a game DURING a five-game losing streak.
• The history books will tell us forever that Nyjer Morgan somehow scored the winning run for the Nationals on the same day he got a hit for the Pirates.
• The Nationals used eight players in this game who weren't even on their team by the time they finished it.
• This game is the highest-scoring game in the history of Nationals Park -- even though the last of the 21 runners who scored happened to cross a home plate that was located 1,218 miles away.
• And the most innovative feat of all was turned in by the winning pitcher, Joel Hanrahan, who had gotten traded to the Pirates before this game ended. So at the exact moment he was awarded his win, he was actually taking a nap in Philadelphia. Which prompted Pirates coach-witticist Rich Donnelly to observe: "You know, if he'd have gotten a good eight hours in, he might have had a chance to win 20."
More Strange But True Madness
• THAT'S A SWITCH: It took 134 years for Arizona's Felipe Lopez to become the first player in history to switch-hit homers from both sides of the plate on Opening Day. It took one inning, in the same game, for Tony Clark to become the second.
• WHO WAS THAT GUY? OK friends, try to explain THIS: Rangers closer Frank Francisco gave up seven hits to the Red Sox in one ugly inning Aug. 14. If he had just taken that night off, there wouldn't have been a single MONTH all season in which he gave up seven hits.
• PINCH ME (PART II): Still having a tough time believing this one. In a May 10 game against St. Louis, Reds manager Dusty Baker needed a pinch hitter, down a run with two outs in the ninth inning, and sent a PITCHER up there. And the pitcher he picked, that sweet-swinging Micah Owings, made the boss look like a genius by becoming the first pitcher in at least the past half century to hit a game-tying pinch homer with two outs in the ninth. Of course!
• CRAZY EIGHT: In the Rangers' insane 18-10 loss to Toronto on Aug. 31, they did something no team had done since 1887 -- score 10 consecutive runs in a game and still manage to lose it by EIGHT runs.
• MILESTONE MEN: In a span of a mere four days, those hospitable Nationals were the losing team in Jamie Moyer's 250th win and Randy Johnson's 300th. The last team to end up on the wrong end of two milestone wins that monstrous in even the same season, let alone the same week: Pop Corkhill's 1891 Pittsburgh Pirates.
• STRANGE BUT TRUE CUBS FEAT OF THE YEAR: Only the Cubs could pull this one off: Derrek Lee was just minding his own business, crossing home plate on the front end of a game-winning two-run ninth-inning homer by Jeff Baker in September, when he got slapped so hard on the helmet by teammate Angel Guzman that he didn't get back in the lineup for another FIVE DAYS.
• HACK OF THE YEAR: On Sept. 23, a guy who struck out 150 times this year in 353 at-bats (Texas' Chris Davis) swung at a pitch that BOUNCED. No surprise there, except that he hit it to right for a single.
• ANGER MANAGEMENT: Mike Hampton got so ticked after allowing a run in a July 18 game against the Dodgers that he tried to slam the baseball into his glove in frustration -- and missed -- for an E-1 that let another run score.
• HOME SWEET HOME: At one point in May, the Padres were the first team in modern history to find themselves working on a double-digit home winning streak (10 in a row) and a double-digit road losing streak (11 in a row) AT THE SAME TIME.