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Photo Credit: Sportsnet

The 10 longest games in Blue Jays history

One of the most beautiful aspects about the game of baseball is the lack of a game clock. Conversely, one of the most laborious aspects of baseball is its lack of a time limit. It could take a shade under two hours, or it could take all damn day and night to record the final out.

Over the years, the Blue Jays have played their fair share of marathon games which extended long into the evening, and sometimes, the early morning. Last night’s 15 inning contest against the Orioles was the latest display of prolonged extra-inning baseball.

Believe it or not, it wasn’t even the longest game the Blue Jays have played. It’s not even within the top five longest Blue Jays games ever. Here’s where that game ranks among the top 10 longest in franchise history.

10.) May 17, 1988: 5 hours, 20 minutes (L 6-7 vs TEX)

Just as the Blue Jays were on the cusp of becoming perennial contenders in the late 80s and early 90s, their 1988 season featured this doozy: a laborious 14-inning contest against the Texas Rangers. 11 pitchers were used in this game and it even featured an appearance by an old friend, Mitch Williams. This game featured two blown saves by the Rangers (one by Williams) and even saw Dave Stieb enter the game as a pinch runner in the bottom of the 14th.

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9.) September 23, 2019: 5 hours, 21 minutes (W 11-10 vs BAL)

Spotted a five-run lead through the first two innings, the Blue Jays couldn’t hold into this lead as they traded jabs with the Orioles through 15 innings. The Orioles’ bullpen coughed up a six-run lead, then the Orioles jumped out to a one-run lead in the 12th, only to see the Jays get one right back. Long after the concessions were closed and thousands had departed for the turnstiles, Anthony Alford hit his first career home run in the 15th inning.

8.)  September 9, 1989: 5 hours, 23 minutes (W 7-5 vs CLE)

This was the second extra inning marathon game in Blue Jays history; a five-plus hour 16 inning game against the Cleveland Indians. The Blue Jays walked away from Cleveland Stadium as the victors that evening … or should we say, morning.

7.) June 8, 2013: 5 hours, 28 minutes (W 4-3 vs TEX)

The Blue Jays paraded nine pitchers in total out to the mound for this 18 inning match-up against the Texas Rangers. In terms of marathon games, this 18 inning contest went a little faster than most. The Jays finished this game eight minutes faster than the 13 inning game which is next on the list.

6.) April 21, 2017: 5 hours, 36 minutes (W 8-7 vs LAA)

West coast games for the Blue Jays always seem to get weird. I remember this game vividly because I fell asleep mid way through extra innings, thought I was watching a replay, but no, it was still the Jays and Angels duking it out. The Jays were spotted a three-run lead heading into the bottom of the 13th, but the Angels nearly walked it off. Joe Biagini dodged a bullet and secured the final out, five hours and 36 minutes after the first pitch.

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5.) June 19, 1998: 5 hours, 49 minutes (L 4-7 vs BAL)

The second marathon game on this list between the Blue Jays and Orioles, this one happened at Camden Yards in June 1998. Rafael Palmeiro sent everybody home after five hours and 45 minutes with a decisive walk-off home run.

4 .) April 19, 2001: 5 hours, 57 minutes (L 5-6 vs NYY)

This one goes all the way back to 2001, a 17 inning showdown at SkyDome between the Blue Jays and Yankees. Roger Clemens and Joey Hamilton were the original starters, but the pitchers of record were Bob File and Randy Choate.

3.) September 5, 2017: 6 hours (L 2-3 vs BOS)

Typical nine inning games at Fenway Park feel long enough as-is. I’ve always said it’s just like plot device in “Interstellar”; time slows down in Fenway Park. An hour there translates to four hours in any other ballpark. Expand this game into a six-hour 19 inning marathon in Boston and you’ve got the makings of one of the most painfully slow games in Blue Jays history.

2.) July 1, 2016: 6 hours, 13 minutes (L 1-2 vs CLE)

If you’re going to slog through 19 innings, at the very least, you’d expect the home team to win. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case with this game. It saw appearances by both Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney, and this pitching appearance sent Goins to the disabled list. Barney gave up the go-ahead home run in the top of the 19th inning to Carlos Santana.

1.) August 10, 2014: 6 hours, 37 minutes (W 6-5 vs DET)

We all remember this one … the Blue Jays-Tigers 19 inning marathon from the summer of 2014. This game went 6 hours and 34 minutes and included a combined 16 pitchers from both sides. Miraculously, this game didn’t feature any position players pitching, but it was capped off by a walk-off single by Jose Bautista in the bottom of the 19th inning.

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The game was sealed by one of the most famous kisses in Blue Jays history.