Game 3 goes to record lengths
White Sox and Astros play marathon contest in Houston
HOUSTON -- After waiting all this time for the World Series to come to the state of Texas, they certainly made the most of it.
Just ask Scott Podsednik, who became the first player in World Series history to have eight official at-bats in a game.
Only 16 days after the longest postseason game in history was played here at Minute Maid Park, the Chicago White Sox outlasted Houston in Game 3, a contest that goes into the World Series record books in several categories as a 482-pitch marathon classic.
It was the longest World Series game ever played, lasting five hours and 41 minutes -- with 1:20 a.m. showing on the Minute Maid scoreboard for the final out. That surpassed the record of 4 hours and 51 minutes that was required for the Yankees' 4-3, 12-inning victory over the Mets in Game 1 of the 2000 Series.
The longest overall postseason game in history -- both in time and innings -- was right here on Oct. 9, when the Astros eliminated the Atlanta Braves from the National League Division Series on Chris Burke's walk-off homer in the 18th inning. That one lasted five hours and 50 minutes, so this one fell just nine minutes short.
It matched the longest World Series game ever played in terms of innings. This one ended because of Geoff Blum's home run in the top of the 14th inning, propelling Chicago to a 7-5 victory and a 3-0 lead in the Series. The only other World Series game that lasted 14 innings was on Oct. 9, 1916, when the Boston Red Sox beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 2, 2-1, behind winning pitcher Babe Ruth.
This was the 55th extra-inning game in World Series history, and those were the only two to go beyond 12 innings. The last one to go that long was Oct. 22, 2003, when Marlins shortstop Alex Gonzalez hit a walk-off homer to beat the Yankees in the 12th inning of Game 4 at Florida.
The White Sox (9) and Astros (8) used a combined 17 pitchers, far exceeding the previous high of 13 for a World Series game. Mark Buehrle was the final pitcher substituted in this one -- becoming the first pitcher in World Series history to start (Game 2) and earn a save in consecutive games.
The old mark of 13 had been done twice: Oct. 22, 1991, Game 3, Atlanta at Minnesota, 12 innings; and Oct. 23, 1996, Game 4, New York at Atlanta, 10 innings.
The two clubs combined to set the record for most walks in a World Series game with 21 -- two more than the previous high. The old mark of 19 was accomplished on Oct. 5, 1957, Game 3, New York at Milwaukee.
The record for walks in a World Series game by one team had been 11, and the White Sox topped that with 12 while the Astros fell just short with nine. The mark of 11 had been accomplished three times, last by Detroit on Oct. 12, 1984, in Game 3 against San Diego.
The 43 combined players used by Chicago (22) and Houston (21) were the most used in a World Series game.
The 30 men left on base, 15 by each team, were the most in a World Series game, with the previous high being 27. The 15 left on base by each team ties the most by one team in a game, done four times previously.
The six double plays by Chicago (2) and Houston (4) tied the World Series record for most combined double plays. It has been done four times previously, last on Oct. 23, 2002, in Game 4 between the Angels and Giants.
And there was that remarkable individual record for Podsednik. He finished the previous game with a walk-off homer, and he couldn't stay away from the plate in the game immediately after that one. Only one player in World Series history even had seven at-bats in a game prior to this one: Don Hahn of the Mets on Oct. 14, 1973, in 12 innings of Game 2 at Oakland.
This Game 3 marathon in 2005 was an especially bittersweet ending for Astros fans, who were there to witness the first World Series game played in the club's 44-year history. It means a firm grip on this Fall Classic for the White Sox, who can now win their first championship since 1917 with a victory in Game 4 on Wednesday night.
For White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who was the Marlins' third base coach the night Gonzalez's homer finished that 2003 marathon, the outcome was the only thing that mattered, but he would have preferred a shorter game.
"I don't want a record like this," Guillen said. "When you manage, you want to get this thing over, especially when you manage a pitching staff."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.