Last night’s Rockies-Giants game started normally enough, with Madison Bumgarner going seven innings. The game itself lasted sixteen innings, though, and by the time it was over the teams had set a new record for most pitchers used in a game with 25. Twenty-five!
Part of that total was attributable to an early, unexpected exit by Rockies starter Jeff Hoffman, who was hit in the knee with a line drive in the fourth inning and was ultimately diagnosed with a bone bruise. Part of it was because of the game’s seven extra innings.
But there have been a lot of games that went 16 innings or more and a lot of games in which a starter was knocked out early that led to far fewer arms being utilized. It’s September, though, so it’s a time when the rosters are expanded, and weird stuff can happen. Weird stuff like nine different pitchers being used for less than an inning. That’s what records like these are made of.
It may be the all-time record forever. Starting next year September active rosters will be limited to 28 players instead of the currently-allowed 40. Also starting next year, pitchers must pitch to either a minimum of three batters or the end of a half-inning, barring situations involving injury or illness, so those nine dudes who retired zero, one or two batters would likely be cut down a bit.