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White Sox 7, Mariners 5 (16 innings): Pretty dumb history

Scoreless through 13 and tied at 5 after 14 -- that about sums it up

The agony of victory.
The agony of victory.
Otto Greule Jr

Congratulations, you just witnessed perhaps the dumbest game in the history of Major League Baseball. Here's a certificate of authenticity:

The White Sox scored five runs in the top of the 14th. The Mariners scored their five runs in the bottom of the 14th, sealed by Kyle Seager's game-tying grand slam. That was the first game-tyin grand slam hit in extra innings, which is another dumb thing.

In fact, this game featured about 5 hours and 42 minutes of dumb things. Some of them benefited the Sox, some of them benefited the Mariners, but ultimately, both teams came away from this circus smelling like they spent the day walking behind the elephants.

At this point, it's easier just to list them in relatively chronological order.

Dumb Thing No. 1: Dylan Axelrod: 5⅓ IP, 6 H, 5 BB ... zero runs.

Axelrod spent the first third of this game walking a tightrope through a minefield (even the metaphors are dumb right now). He allowed the leadoff man to reach in five of the six innings he started, but he escaped unscathed thanks to four double plays, which included:

  1. A fairly typical 5-4-3.
  2. An atypical 8-4-3 (Brendan Ryan was moving on a hit and run, and Alexei Ramirez deked him)
  3. A 9-2 (Alex Rios making an incredible throw to a plate-blocking Hector Gimenez)
  4. A 6-4-3.

Guest skipper Mark Parent -- whose managerial aspirations are probably dead by now -- pulled Axelrod with runners on the corners and one out, but Hector Santiago stranded them with a shallow flyout and a strikeout.

Dumb Thing No. 2: Blown bunts

In the top of the seventh, Ryan -- who really had a terrible game -- allowed his sac bunt attempt to result in a forceout at second. The next batter, Endy Chavez, grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, the fifth off the game.

In the top of the ninth, Hector Gimenez popped out on his sac bunt attempt, leaving Gordon Beckham at first. He eventually made it to second on a wild pitch with two outs, but he didn't score.

Dumb Thing No. 3: Hisashi Iwakuma pulled after eight innings and 99 pitches.

The last baserunner Seattle's second ace allowed came on Gimenez's two-out single in the third inning. He retired 16 in a row, but even though his pitch count hadn't hit three digits, Eric Wedge still went to his bullpen an inning (or two!) earlier than he had to.

Dumb Thing No. 4: Rios misses second

Rios led off the 12th with a single. Two batters later, he took off on a hit and run as Paul Konerko hit a routine fly to center. Rios touched second, and popped up a couple inches on the other side of the bag before locating the fly. He would've been out at first had Michael Saunders not sailed the throw, but he was only safe for moments. The Mariners tried the appeal play at second, and Rios was called out. Sure enough, the replay showed he never touched the bag on the way back.

Dumb Thing No. 5: White Sox scored five in the top of the 14th

For a brief shining moment, the White Sox offense resembled a legitimate one. Alejandro De Aza led off with a single, moved to third on Ramirez's single, and scored on Rios' single to bring home the game's first run. Then came a return of the pulling-teeth attack.

After an Adam Dunn walk, Paul Konerko grounded to third, resulting in a 5-2 fielder's choice. Casper Wells followed with a weak grounder to short, but it forced a drawn-in Ryan to range far enough to his right that he had to make an off-balance throw. It short-hopped the catcher, which allowed Rios to score for a 2-0 lead.

At least they returned to palpable hitting. Jeff Keppinger shot a single through the middle to score two, and Gimenez hit a double to deep right-center to bring in Wells to give the Sox a 5-0 lead. They appeared to be on their way to breaking their streak of 86 consecutive innings without holding a lead until ...

Dumb Thing No. 6: The Mariners scored five in the bottom of the 14th.

It started easily enough for Addison Reed -- a routine flyout to the left fielder Wells. Then the Mariners dropped three singles in front of Wells, and Endy Chavez added a fourth down the left-field line to make it a 5-1 game, and bringing the tying run to the plate. Reed struck out Jason Bay for the second out, but on a 1-2 count to Seager, Reed throws a slider over the plate, and Seager crushes it into the seats to make history.

Dumb Thing No. 7: Adult fan plows over small child to retrieve the grand slam ball.


(via @CJZero)

Dumb Thing No. 8: Keppinger strikes out on an unconvincing checked swing in the 15th.

With the bases loaded, two outs and a 2-2 count, Keppinger appears to check up on a Hector Noesi slider off the plate. Home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn calls him out -- and without an appeal -- to end the threat. Hawk Harrelson hadn't gotten an excuse to complain about the umpires, so we could cross that off the list.

Dumb Thing No. 9: Sox score two in the 16th.

Beckham leads off the 16th with a single, steals second with Gimenez after the plate, and after Gimenez can't get him over. De Aza still gets him in with a single to center. De Aza takes second on the throw, then takes third when...

Dumb Thing No. 10: Ryan doesn't notice a baserunning error.

Ramirez hits a firm grounder to short, but De Aza takes off anyway. Maybe both players thought there were two outs, but Ryan doesn't even consider throwing to third, and the sox benefit when Rios hits Noesi with a comebacker, resulting in an infield single and a one-base error on the throw. The inning ended when..

Dumb Thing No. 11: Dunn drew his third intentional walk of the afternoon/evening.

After averaging 11 intentional walks a season during his National League days, Dunn had only drawn three IBBs over his two-plus seasons on the South Side. He matched it in one day, which shows you how little respect the Mariners had for Konerko and Jordan Danks, who struck out to end the 16th.

Dumb Thing No. 12: Reed picks up the win.

After blowing a five-run lead in his first inning of work, Reed comes away with the victory by throwing a 1-2-3 inning in his third frame to close it out. He threw a career-high 55 pitches (including 41 strikes), and that doesn't account for the multiple times he warmed up. He had a hard time breaking 90 by the end of the game.

Now, it's usually advised to end evaluations on an optimistic note for morale's sake. So let's try...

Good Thing No. 1: The defense played well.

Six double plays, no errors. How 'bout it.

Good Thing No. 2: The losing streaks are ova.

Reed's relatively simple 16th stopped the White Sox's losing streak at eight games, and ended the Sox's streak of consecutive innings without holding a lead at 88.

Wait. That's kind of a dumb thing, too.

Record: 25-32 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights