How many extra innings in baseball? MLB first used the extra-innings tiebreaker rule during the 60-game pandemic season in 2020 to shorten games and reduce injury risk after the unusual spring training shutdown and midsummer build-up period for pitchers. The rule remained temporary in 2021 and 2022 and has now been made permanent.
There are nine innings split into two halve in a regulation baseball game—a top of an inning where the visiting team hits first. After three outs, it then changes to the bottom of the inning, where the home team comes up, and again, they have three releases to score as many runs as possible. Once that three-out is complete, it starts the next inning and repeats until the 9th.
Now in the 9th, it can be a little trickier. If, in the top half of the 9th, the home team wins by a single run, and the visiting team has its three last outs to score. If they do not cut and the home teams get the three puts, the game is over, and it ends in 9 and 1/2 inning played. Because the home team had the lead, they no longer needed to bat because they had won.
If the home team would have to come up to bat and try to score and they fail, then the game can go into what’s called “Extra Innings” and starts at the top of the 10th, in which case the game can go on as long as it takes until a team wins the game.
Historically, 10 percent of regular season games go to extra innings. Last season 223 of 2,430 regular season games went to extra innings or 9.2 percent. With the extra-innings tiebreaker rule, only seven games have gone as long as 13 innings in the last three seasons. There were 37 13-inning games in 2019 alone, the previous year with “normal” extra-inning rules.
The “Ghost Runner” or “Manfred Man” rule is a rule that places a runner at second base at the start of every extra inning in the regular season. The rule was enforced initially amid the 2020 season to reduce injury risk and tatter on pitchers in a limited player pool. It limits the circumstances of long-run extra-innings games, and Postseason games will continue to feature “regular” play in extra innings.
The official rule says: the runner placed on second base at the start of each half-inning in extras will be the player in the batting order immediately preceding that half-inning leadoff hitter or a pinch-runner. So, if the No. 7 hitter in the order is due to lead off, the No. 6 hitter (or a pinch-runner for the No. 6 hitter) would be placed on second base.
If the automatic (ghost) runner comes around to score, an earned run will not be charged to the pitcher.
What are extra innings in baseball?
Extra innings are just like they sound—they are extra innings. If a game is tied at the end of regulation innings (nine innings for MLB, but seven innings for high school or little league), then the game moves into what is called extra innings. The teams will play until a winner is decided—or, in the case of lower-level leagues, when it is too dark to continue.
In some cases, there are tournaments with timed games, so it is possible that time could expire in these situations.
When do extra innings end?
Extra innings end when a team is winning after the bottom half of the inning. There is no sudden-death rule. Just like in the ninth inning, the home team has an opportunity to bat.
The inning may end early in the bottom half, meaning the home team may not record three outs. This would occur if the home team scored a go-ahead run. If this happens, the game ends immediately, regardless of how many outs have been recorded.
If the first extra inning ends with the game still tied, the game goes to another extra inning. This continues until a team is ahead by at least one run at the bottom end of the inning.
MLB extra innings rule
Beginning in the 10th inning at the start of each half-inning, a designated runner would begin on second base. The hope was that this would speed up tied or scoreless games. The designated runner was determined to be the batter in the position before the leadoff hitter for that inning. For example, if your number four hitter was slated to lead off the inning, your number three hitter was the designated runner for that inning.
Though this rule was used during the regular season, the designated runner was not used in any round of the postseason. Extra innings would continue as they usually do—with empty bases.
College baseball extra innings
College baseball followed suit in 2021 by adding the designated runner rule. Just like in Major League Baseball, during extra innings, each half-inning begins with a runner on second. The game continues until there is a team ahead by the end of the bottom half of the inning. The road team cannot win until the home team has had its final at-bat. However, just like in Major League Baseball, the game is over as soon as the home team scores the go-ahead run.
Who played the longest game by innings in major league baseball?
In 1920, the longest Major League Baseball game in terms of innings was played. The match between the Robins and the Braves was deadlocked at 1 after 26 innings—that’s nearly three games’ worth of innings. The contest took three hours and 50 minutes. They predated lighted stadiums that same year, so the game was called because of darkness.
Who played the longest major league postseason game?
There is actually a three-way tie for the longest postseason game in Major League Baseball. This year’s (2022) Division Series Game between the Astros and the Mariners lasted 18 innings. The end score was a 1-0 Astros victory.
The 2014 NLDS Game between the Giants and the Nationals lasted 18 innings. It ended with the Giants prevailing 2-1 over the Nationals.
The third game that also went 18 innings was played in 2005. In this match-up, the Astros (for the second time on this list) and the Braves played the equivalent of two baseball games. It ended with the Astros winning 7-6 over the Braves.
Who played the longest world series game?
The longest World Series game was also 18 innings. It was Game 3 of the 2018 World Series between the Red Sox and the Dodgers. The Dodgers won the match-up 3-2 on a walk-off home run. Over 40 players were used between the two teams.
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