London Series Day 2: Live Game Blog

Coming at you live from the London Stadium, the first game is about to begin and we’re here to take you through it. The live game stream is available through the BBC here.

22:56 – So thirty-seven hits and thirty runs, but no steals, so no free tacos. Try harder, everyone. It’s been a lot of fun and very weird at the same time. I will not be live blogging for tomorrow’s game, so I’m trying to talk Tom into doing this. It was his first MLB game, by the way. Oh, and we were three minutes short of the longest nine-inning game ever.

22:53 – Gregorius, European star of the show this weekend, makes another excellent play off a hard Travis grounder to short and starts a game-ending double play. No crazy last minute comeback, but what a terrifically wild game.

22:47 – Aroldis Chapman is out to protect the four-run lead. He’s the sixteenth pitcher we’ve seen tonight.

22:46 – Marcus Walden strikes out Edwin Encarnacion to send it to the bottom of the ninth. Is there one more twist in this game?

22:39 – Fans keep being reminded to check their trains. I suspect some have already missed the last one. We’re in with a chance of the longest nine-inning game in history now. With 4 hours and 31 minutes played, this is only the 8th game to reach that mark. 15 minutes to break the record.

22:37 – Hernandez sends a bouncer to short, so weakly that he nearly makes it safely to first but Gregorius beats him by a step. One inning to play. Don’t Stop Believin’ plays. It seems far-fetched for the Sox now, but four runs is not much of a lead today, it seems.

22:35 – Betts walks! The tying run is at the plate! It’s…Marco Hernandez.

22:31 – It’s time for a review! We have had it all. Bradley grounds to second, it’s a double play chance and the umpires call it out, but on review the ball bounces just before LeMahieu’s glove and that’s when Bradley’s foot hits the bag. Two outs, men on the corners, the MVP at the plate.

22:26 – He takes a walk. That works. Four runs to get, Bradley up, Betts would be the tying run if Bradley can get on…

22:24 – Sandy Leon is on board with a single. Can Chavis hit a third?

22:22 – And as for Sweet Caroline…

22:21 – Everyone got into Take Me Out To The Ballgame…

22:18 – Decent crowd tonight.

22:16 – Velasquez takes a comebacker from LeMahieu to the legs but the ball bounces to Chavis and Velasquez scrambles over to first to complete the out. He seems to be ok.

22:14 – More solid contact from Gardner, who sends Bradley all the way back to the warning track in centre but he ultimately makes a comfortable catch.

22:13 – Of course there’s a ballpark proposal during the Kiss Cam. I’m not sure she said yes, or anything at all, in fact. Rarely a good idea.

22:11 – Travis launches a high-slicing pop-up that’s no problem for LeMahieu, now over at first, and the inning is over. We have a game again, though.

22:09 – Well. Martinez strokes a double into right and Hernandez comes home. Bogaerts, however, pulls up rounding second and just jogs into third. There’s some discussion with the coaching staff but he’s staying out there. 17-13, Yankees.

22:04 – Tommy Kahnle uncorks a wild pitch on a 3-2 count to Bogaerts that also allows Betts to score. It’s 17-12. Could this game get even crazier?

22:03 – If you’re thinking you haven’t seen a game like this recently, you’re right.

21:58 – Marco Hernandez drives a shot up the middle that Gregorius makes an incredible diving stop on but can’t quite get it to first in time for an out, although he prevents a second run from scoring. Bradley does score and the deficit is back to 6 at 17-11.

21:57 – In addition to all the other weird things going on tonight, we may have a shot at MLB Scorigami for the first time in 20 years. If you’ve never heard of Scorigami, let the genius that is Jon Bois explain.

21:52 – Bradley sends a single into right for the thirty-second hit of the game and a ‘let’s go Red Sox’ chant erupts. They believe!

21:49 – The catchers doing it for Boston as Vazquez lines a single and then Sandy Leon sneaks his way on with a grounder that manages to hit the diving forms of both Gregorius and LeMahieu. Michael Chavis then sends his second bomb of the game out to left-centre, cleverly placing it just to the left of where the wall has been built up higher. Game on? 17-10, Yankees.

21:46 – Report from our intrepid BF&N team out in the stands of an exchange in which the fans behind them were considering whether they would rather be in the King’s Head drinking a pint, or here drinking a pint. They all agreed here. It’s not clear which King’s Head they were referring to, but still good news for MLB.

21:43 – That would have been a great start as Sam Travis slices one into right that looks like it might get down but Mike Tauchman – into the game for Aaron Judge – makes an excellent sprawling grab.

21:39 – Chavis almost bobbles a simple grounder to first to cost the Red Sox their second 1-2-3 inning in a row, then recovers to throw to Hector Velasquez for the out. Now they just need ten runs.

21:37 – Here’s that incredible Brasier catch.

21:36 – Not weird at all.

21:34 – To further that point, Christian Vazquez is now playing third base.

21:33 – YMCA plays over the PA system. A lot of people are joining in. It’s been that kind of game.

21:30 – A lot of people were probably hoping to be out of here around now to get home. Some of them clearly have already left, as gaps have opened up in the seating. We are three hours and 20 minutes in, so it’s hardly a surprise that non-London residents in particular would need to start thinking about going home.

21:26 – Bradley reignites the Red Sox fans with a bomb into the Yankees bullpen. Gardner makes a good show of it by scaling the wall but in the end it clears his glove by a fair distance. 17-7, Yankees.

21:24 – Brasier gets Gregorius to fly out to centre and that’s the second 1-2-3 in a row. Maybe it won’t take quite as long as it looked a couple of innings ago.

21:21 – Ryan Brasier, wow! The Red Sox reliever delivers a 97 mph pitch which Gio Urshela returns with interest straight back where it came from. There’s a horrible moment where we think he might have been hit but instead Brasier has somehow pirouetted and snagged it in his glove. Incredible grab. Martin Guptill would be proud.

21:15 – A 1-2-3 inning! Cortes is responsible for this remarkable feat. There have only been seven recorded nine-inning game that were 4 and a half hours or longer. This one is on course to join them unless we get a few more innings like that.

21:10 – The t-shirt guns are out. Maybe the Red Sox fans can get some free merch to make themselves feel better. It’s the middle of the fifth, and the game has taken three hours.

21:05 – LeMahieu is ridiculous. With the bases loaded, he drills a grounder through the hole into left. Two more score, it’s 17-6 Red Sox and DJ also has four hits, with five RBI.

21:03 – Brett Gardner gets VERY heated after a called strike three which, to be fair to him, was a good 2-3 inches outside at least. The crowd gets into it and home plate umpire Ed Hickox looks like he’s having a good long think about ejecting Gardner as the Yankees left fielder yells at him on the way back to the dugout, but it comes to nothing.

20:58 – Josh Taylor is in to try and stop the bleeding for the Red Sox. He allows a single to Hicks, throws a wild pitch to advance both runners, then walks Gleyber Torres. It has not worked.

20:50 – Relatively local hero Didi Gregorius singles to bring Urshela home. 15-6, Yankees. Amsterdam is much closer to London than most MLB parks are to New York, before anyone disputes local hero.

20:46 – Luke Voit records his fourth hit of the day. It’s the fifth inning. Unfortunately, in turning at first to leg out a double, he seems to step awkwardly on the bag and limps into second. The ball pops out on the tag so he gets the double anyway, but Gio Urshela comes in to replace him. Thanks for a great evening, Luke.

20:43 – Freddie is the champion. That was quite normal compared to what’s been happening on the field.

20:42 – It’s Giant Mascot Race Time. Winston Churchill, the Loch Ness Monster, Henry VIII and Freddie Mercury battle it out.

20:41 – The Yankees pitchers seem to have settled more easily. Hale records two outs either side of a Bogaerts single before being replaced by Nestor Cortes Jr., who induces a pop-up from Benintendi to end the inning.

20:29 – Well, it took nearly two and a half hours to get a Mexican wave. Shawaryn strikes out Sanchez, so maybe it helped.

20:27 – ALL RISE! Aaron Judge follows up on his spectacular batting practice display by obliterating an opposite field homer. It’s 14-6, and poor Mike Shawaryn is still on the mound with no-one throwing in the pen. Now he has to face Gary Sanchez.

20:25 – LeMahieu, who was batting .478 with runners in scoring position at the start of this game, grounds a double straight down the left field line to drive in all three runners. The Yankees are ahead by six again, after seeing their first six-run deficit erased.

20:22 – …and Shawaryn walks Voit in to put the Yankees up by three. A lengthy conference follows but no-one is warming in earnest and they probably can’t afford to use a fifth pitcher already – yes, it is still the third inning.

20:20 – It seems to have taken a very long time to get here, as Shawaryn has now loaded the bases but also retired Edwin Encarnacion and Hicks. It’s down to Gardner again…

20:04 – Mike Shawaryn is in to pitch and Voit greets him by smashing one all the way to the CF wall. Bradley seems to get the height on the jump to bring it in but it seems to miss his glove by an inch or two to his left. Voit thinks about going to third then thinks better of it.

20:03 – Shaun from Luton just won what we assume are the first tickets issued for next year’s Cubs-Cards game by choosing Grand Slam over Big Blast and Full Monty in a terribly taxing quiz. Let’s start using Full Monty.

20:01 – Betts strikes out looking to end the inning. Still 8-6 Yankees, three homers so far.

19:55 – I thought we might have a 1-2-3 inning there, then Jackie Bradley rapped a two-out single. Chad Green comes off the mound to some healthy applause from the fans behind us, no doubt impressed that someone here managed to record outs without giving up a run. David Hale is in to replace him.

19:52 – He may be a Rangers beat writer, but Levi Weaver has some useful facts about the UK for us all.

19:49 – An upset! Jason gets the customary headstart and goes off quick before slowing halfway through, but he manages to pick up the pace down the stretch and beat the Freeze by a half-yard. That’s what we came to see.

19:48 – It’s time for the FREEZE!

19:45 – Andy Brown, baseball artist, doing sterling work away to our right.

19:41 – Brett Gardner smashes a dinger into deep right, something we saw him do several times in a row in batting practice. Steven Wright isn’t having much more luck than Porcello. The Yankees retake the lead, 8-6.

19:35 – An ‘umpire’ – or at least a man dressed like one – gets put on the Dance Cam and proceeds to go through a whole routine, including flossing. He immediately departs the field thereafter, so I assume that was entirely planned. Shame they didn’t try Angel Hernandez.

19:33 – It has calmed down a little. Green gets out of the inning with a simple grounder.

19:28 – Good thing we have Ben for all our Photoshop needs.

19:25 – After Devers doubles again, this time off Chad Green, Xander Bogaerts drives one to center and Aaron Hicks almost misjudges it and runs in too far, forcing him to jump to make the catch. Unfamiliarity with the park or just the sun making it tricky as it starts to sink below the roof line of the stadium?

19:19 – Clean inning! Voit gets on base again with a single after Sanchez strikes out but Gregorius grounds into a double play and Steven Wright ends the top of the second much more quickly.

19:13 – Aaron Judge leads off the second with a single. I don’t think most people are expecting there to be 50 runs per team in this game, but you’d be hard-pressed to convinced the brand-new viewer of that right now.

19:08 – It’s finally over. Just the 58 minutes, 10 hits, 4 walks and 12 runs, then.

19:06 – A hasty Play Index tells me that both starters have not been knocked out of the first inning in the same game since September 21st, 1989, when Dennis Rasmussen of the Padres and Jack Armstrong of the Reds both gave up five earned in the first.

19:02 – MICHAEL CHAVIS! The rookie absolutely crushes a home run over the big wall in dead center. It is LOUD. We are all tied up. Tanaka is out of the game in the first too.

18:59 – The Brockstar himself grounds one into right and the Red Sox are halfway there. 50-minute first inning, still one out to get. We’re not short on action.

18:57 – Benintendi pops up and then Christian Vazquez lines one into right that would be over many players’ heads – but not Aaron Judge. Devers scores on the sac fly. 6-2, Yankees.

18:49 – Masahiro Tanaka walks J.D. Martinez to load the bases and here comes Andrew Benintendi. That sparks a mound visit too. 40 minutes in and we are still in the first.

18:42 – Betts gets the Red Sox fans going with a single and then Rafael Devers lines one down the right field line. The foul territory definitely comes into play here as Betts gets on his bike and the ball drifts deep into the foul ground in right, forcing Judge to run a long way to retrieve it. By the time he does, Betts is almost home. 6-1, Yankees.

18:41 – Gold.

18:40 – Tom describes his first half-inning of live major league baseball as ‘pretty painful’. He’s asking if we can see some better pitchers next time. Let’s see what Tanaka has got.

18:37 – THE TOP OF THE FIRST IS OVER! LeMahieu, in his second plate appearance of the inning, seemed dubious that Brewer had actually thrown strike three, but Ed Hickox rings him up.

18:32 – Must feel like it for Porcello.

18:28 – Aaron Hicks crushes one over the Red Sox bullpen. Porcello is out of the game. The Yankees offense is making a quite spectacular introduction to the UK crowd.

18:25 – ANOTHER double, this time from Edwin Encarnacion. Colten Brewer is up in the bullpen.

18:21 – It’s not going well for Rick Porcello. Didi Gregorius lashes another double to right-centre and both Sanchez and Voit come home. It is loud in the London Stadium.

18:18 – The massive foul territory nearly came into play there as Luke Voit sliced one to the right and Michael Chavis missed what looked like a fairly makeable catch near the wall, although it’s probably the first time he’s run that far in that direction on a baseball field. Voit responds by lining a double to left and LeMahieu comes home to put the Yankees one up already.

18:10 – The Red Sox are on the field and Rick Porcello has completed his warm-up. DJ LeMahieu is coming to the plate. It’s go time! LeMahieu lines an opposite field single to right for the very first hit on this historic occasion.

18:07 – Don’t forget that if you are at home in the UK and find yourself in the unusual situation of being blacked out on, you can watch it live through the BBC right here.

18:04 – It seems that the reputation of today’s umpire Angel Hernandez precedes him.

18:02 – Anthems weren’t bad either, by the way…

18:00 – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are out on the field for the first pitch with representatives from the Invictus Games making the ceremonial pitches. Not from the mound, but one was delivered well to the catcher, the other bouncing. Resident pitching expert Ben Carter rates them as a 7.5 and 3 out of 10 respectively.

17:52 – The players are making their way out to some fairly raucous cheers (and boos from what appear to be rather sizeable contingents of opposing fans). The stadium looks to be around 90 percent full with people still filing in. 18 minutes to game time!

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