Yesterday’s 4-0 loss to the Washington Nationals, which began at 7:05 p.m. in Washington, D.C., ended at 1:22 a.m. If you choose not to count the three hours, 17 minutes of rain-delay time toward the official time of game — this is what MLB does — the game lasted 2 hours and 59 minutes. In reality, more than six hours passed from the first pitch to the last, and the human beings at Nationals Park yesterday felt every second of it.
How many of those human beings made it past midnight? You’ll only need one hand for this exercise:
A Major League baseball game. pic.twitter.com/IJcK43749R
— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) May 6, 2014
What’s really scary is that yesterday’s game was the Dodgers’ fastest in nearly two weeks. Not since they beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2 on April 23 have the Dodgers finished a game in less than three hours — again, officially.
There’s a trend around baseball for games getting longer. Has been for a while. A year ago, six teams finished games in less than three hours on average. In 2012 that number was 15. Dial it back 10 years to 2004 and only one team, the Baltimore Orioles, averaged as many as three hours per game.
This year? Only two teams — Cincinnati and San Diego — are finishing in less than three hours. And those two clubs are averaging 2:59 per game. The meaning of the 3-hour mark has been completely flipped on its head.
Unfortunately the Dodgers are leading the way in this department, with an MLB-worst 3:25 average time of game. Might as well sit back, find a good blog to read between innings, and enjoy the ride.
If you want to reach for a positive, try this one: The team who played the longest games last season, the Boston Red Sox, won the World Series.