Ryan Braun delivers six hits in historic 18-inning game

Ryan Braun
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The Brewers and Mets battled for 18 long innings on Saturday night, setting an all-time record for the longest game (by innings) in Miller Park history. For the majority of the game’s five-hour, 22-minute runtime, they traded goose eggs on the scoreboard — thanks to eight consecutive scoreless innings from the Mets’ bullpen, and 14 from the Brewers’ — until Ryan Braun won it in the bottom of the 18th with a walk-off two-run single that just slipped between Pete Alonso and Robinson Canó:

The hit not only propelled the Brewers to a hard-earned victory, but represented a career high for Braun as well. It was his sixth hit of the night, preceded by base hits in the fourth, sixth, and ninth, and two doubles in the 14th and 17th. (Funnily enough, it was also a historic night for the Miller Park racing sausages, who came out to entertain the remaining members of the 39,565-person crowd on three separate occasions.)

While both a triple and home run evaded him for the cycle, he’s the first MLB player to collect six hits in a single game since his teammate and former NL MVP, Christian Yelich, did so in a 10-inning win for the Brewers last August. According to Baseball Reference, Braun hadn’t delivered as many as five hits in a game since 2010.

After an exhausting night of weird baseball — during which, it should be said, both teams depleted their benches of reserve players — the Brewers and Mets will go toe-to-toe again on Sunday for the series finale. Milwaukee right-hander Zach Davies is currently positioned to go for the sweep against lefty Jason Vargas at 2:10 PM EDT.

MLB, union resume blood testing after pandemic, lockout

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK – In the first acknowledgment that MLB and the players’ association resumed blood testing for human growth hormone, the organizations said none of the 1,027 samples taken during the 2022 season tested positive.

HGH testing stopped in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Testing also was halted during the 99-day lockout that ended in mid-March, and there were supply chain issues due to COVID-19 and additional caution in testing due to coronavirus protocols.

The annual public report is issued by Thomas M. Martin, independent program administrator of MLB’s joint drug prevention and treatment program. In an announcement accompanying Thursday’s report, MLB and the union said test processing is moving form the INRS Laboratory in Quebec, Canada, to the UCLA Laboratory in California.

MLB tests for HGH using dried blood spot testing, which was a change that was agreed to during bargaining last winter. There were far fewer samples taken in 2022 compared to 2019, when there were 2,287 samples were collected – none positive.

Beyond HGH testing, 9,011 urine samples were collected in the year ending with the 2022 World Series, up from 8,436 in the previous year but down from 9,332 in 2019. And therapeutic use exemptions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder dropped for the ninth straight year, with just 72 exemptions in 2022.

Overall, the league issued six suspensions in 2022 for performance-enhancing substances: three for Boldenone (outfielder/first baseman Danny Santana, pitcher Richard Rodriguez and infielder Jose Rondon, all free agents, for 80 games apiece); one each for Clomiphene (Milwaukee catcher Pedro Severino for 80 games), Clostebol (San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. for 80 games) and Stanozolol (Milwaukee pitcher J.C. Mejia for 80 games).

There was an additional positive test for the banned stimulant Clobenzorex. A first positive test for a banned stimulant results in follow-up testing with no suspension.