NEW YORK -- It was the longest game by time in the history of the Boston Red Sox, the longest home game by time in the history of the New York Yankees, and the longest game in the history of a rivalry famous for its tendency for extended play.
New York minute? Boston's 6-5 win in 19 innings over the Yankees took longer than the time it takes the stragglers to cross the finish line at the New York Marathon: 6 hours and 49 minutes.
"All good things must come to an end at some point,'' said John Farrell, neglecting to mention that for much of Friday night and early Saturday morning, the Red Sox manager could not have been certain whether the game would prove good, or ever end, as his team gave back three leads, one each in the ninth, 16th and 18th innings, before finally prevailing.
The Sox were two strikes away from a tidy win in regulation when Yankees third baseman Chase Headley, who last September hit a walk-off home run off Sox closer Koji Uehara that caused Uehara to be removed from the closer job for the rest of the season, hit a game-tying home run off Uehara's stand-in, Edward Mujica.
The Sox took a 4-3 lead in the 16th on a home run by David Ortiz, the 12th extra-inning home run of his career, none of which have come later, only to have Teixeira match it in the bottom of the 16th.
The Sox took a 5-4 lead in the 18th on Pablo Sandoval's fourth hit of the night, an RBI single, only to have the Yankees rally one more time, with doubles by Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran tying the score. The Yankees finally ran out of answers in the 19th, after Mookie Betts' sacrifice fly scored Xander Bogaerts with the deciding run.
"This was a test of endurance,'' Farrell said. "It was a matter of resiliency on both sides.'' It wasn't enough that the teams combined to use 42 players (21 apiece), or that nine pitchers for the Red Sox and eight for the Yankees combined to throw 628 pitches (umpire Marty Foster was behind the plate for all of them), or that the Sox left 20 men on base, their most LOB in a game since 1977, or that the last pitchers of the night for both teams, Steven Wright of the Red Sox and Esmil Rogers of the Yankees, threw almost as many pitches as the starters for their respective teams, Wade Miley and Nathan Eovaldi. It wasn't enough that the teams combined for 32 hits, 14 walks and 29 strikeouts, or that the Yankee Stadium PA announcer invited the fans to repeat the seventh-inning stretch in the middle of the 14th.
That's all pretty standard stuff for these types of game. This one had so much more:
-- There were the 16 minutes of added time in the bottom of the 12th while the teams waited, at the insistence of Yankees manager Joe Girardi, for a couple of banks of lights in the upper deck that had blown out to flicker back to life after an apparent power surge.
The hardy souls who remained from a crowd announced at 41,292 did their best to help, many holding up their brightly shining cellphones to help illuminate the proceedings, which hadn't exactly been cast into darkness when a couple of banks, one in left field and the other in right, blew out.
Girardi, however, preferred to let the electricians on site address the issue, and umpiring crew chief Mike Winters agreed.
"I just said I didn't think it was right that the [Red Sox] hit in bright lights and we were missing them," Girardi said. "So we waited for the rest of them to come back on and we played."
-- This game lasted so long, Teixeira aged a year.
The Yankees first baseman was 34 when Eovaldi, making his Yankees debut, threw the first pitch of the night at 7:08 p.m., and was 35 when Wright of the Red Sox threw the last pitch at 2:13 the next morning. Teixeira had one home run this season as a 34-year-old; he matched that total in his first hours as a 35-year-old when he crushed a Wright knuckleball into the left-field seats leading off the 16th.
-- It lasted so long, Betts went from playing what he said felt like the worst game of his life to one he will happily recall, assuming he isn't too tired to remember.
"I've never played that late,'' said the 22-year-old Red Sox outfielder, whose sacrifice fly in the 19th inning, which had been preceded by four strikeouts in a span of five at-bats that began in the ninth inning, drove in the deciding run. "I've never dreamed of playing that late.
"Seven hours? I've never played that long. Maybe a doubleheader, but even doubleheaders don't last that long.
"And I've never had a game that bad. It would have been the worst game of my life, but we ended up winning, so it was all right.''
-- It lasted so long, Red Sox shortstop Bogaerts went 4-for-4, just counting his at-bats that started roughly around midnight.
Before the bewitching hour, he was 0-for-4. Afterward, Bogaerts singled in the 13th, singled in the 15th, singled in the 17th, and singled and scored the winning run in the 19th inning on Betts' fly ball to Jacoby Ellsbury. Bogaerts was on third base after moving up on a passed ball charged to a 23-year-old catcher, John Ryan Murphy, who had been inserted as a pinch runner just the inning before.
"I don't know what I'm doing up there," Bogaerts said, perhaps saving a more detailed explanation for when Dustin Pedroia doesn't tell WBZ's Jonny Miller, "I'm fining any player who talks to the media -- it's 2:30 in the morning.''
"I'm just seeing the ball and hitting the ball,'' Bogaerts said, keeping it simple. "Just trying to get on base so the other guys can score.''
-- And it lasted so long, Wright went from a guy who was told earlier in the week that he was going to start on Saturday afternoon, to being told he'd been scratched from that start in favor of Joe Kelly, to pitching early Saturday morning as the last man standing. "I realized that when I looked around the bullpen and I was the only one left,'' said Wright, who entered the game in the 15th. "But that's my role and I like that role. I like the fact I can come in and throw five or six innings and 100 pitches if I'm needed.''
In addition to blowing the two leads, a late-night horror show by anyone's definition, Wright flirted with peril at every turn. In each of his five innings, the Yankees put at least one man on base. Brett Gardner drew a one-out walk in the 15th but did not advance. After Teixeira's homer tied it in the 16th, the Yankees had the potential winning run at third before Wright induced Didi Gregorius to roll out to first.
In the 17th Gardner walked again, only to be picked off by Wright, a coup for a knuckleballer against a premier base stealer. Garrett Jones followed with a base hit to right, but a strong throw by Shane Victorino held him to a single, and Teixeira bounced into a force play. In the 18th, Beltran reached third after his game-tying double over the head of the overmatched Hanley Ramirez in left, but Wright once more retired Gregorius.
"Blowing the lead twice, for me I definitely was frustrated with it,'' Wright said, "but in the end I've still got to go out there, I've still got to compete. The guys are definitely grinding it out. They've been out there a lot longer than me. I just wanted to gather myself and keep going back to the knuckleball, keep firing it in there and hope for the best.''
-- And there would be a best-for-last moment, surely a contender for the most spectacular double play ever turned at that hour of the morning. After Wright kept Ellsbury from stealing second after his leadoff single in the 19th, Jones hit a smash that Bogaerts scooped up and flipped to Pedroia, flying across the second-base bag. With his momentum practically carrying him onto the outfield grass, Pedroia made a midair turn and fired a strike to Mike Napoli, finally turning the lights out on the city that never sleeps.
"Unbelievable,'' Wright said, "but it's not a shocker that he made a play like that. He's been doing it for a that long time, but it was nice to have them do it behind you.
"That's a heck of a play to pull off at 2:30 in the morning.''
The kind of play that left the Yankees feeling even more exhausted than they already were.
"It's one game that seemed like about six," Girardi said afterward. "We move on." The Red Sox and Yankees are scheduled to play again at 1:05 Saturday afternoon. "Game 3 starts in an hour,'' Farrell said, noting that Friday night's exercise was the equivalent of two-plus games. Both teams will surely summon reinforcements to relieve their overtaxed bullpens.
As Betts made his way out of the clubhouse, someone asked him if he could sleep fast.
"I don't know,'' he said. "I'm about to find out.''