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Yankees Outlast Cubs 5-4 in Marathon 18-Inning Game in Record-Breaking Night

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2017

New York Yankees' Aaron Hicks reacts after scoring on a fielder's choice by Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell during the 18th inning of an interleague baseball game Monday, May 8, 2017 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

It was just one game of 162, but fans who stayed around from beginning to end won't soon forget the New York Yankees' 5-4, 18-inning triumph over the Chicago Cubs, which concluded Monday morning at Wrigley Field.

Former Cub Starlin Castro drove in the winning run on a fielder's choice after Aaron Hicks advanced to third on a bunt single, throwing error by catcher Willson Contreras and sacrifice bunt.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, this was the longest interleague showdown in MLB history, and it had plenty of strikeouts to go around:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

44 K now by Cubs and Yankees combined, breaking the MLB record set in 1971 by the Angels and Athletics https://t.co/Kpah5Pe72D

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Yankees-Cubs is 1st game in MLB history in which each team struck out at least 21 times

Starting pitchers Jon Lester (Cubs) and Luis Severino (Yankees) had nine apiece. New York's Chasen Shreve pitched the final three innings and posted five punch-outs while earning the win.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports observed the two teams combined to top Tony Gwynn's highest strikeout total over the course of a full season:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

The Yankees and Cubs have combined for a record 43 strikeouts tonight. Tony Gwynn played 20 seasons. He never struck out more than 40 times.

The Yankees opened the scoring in the first with an RBI groundout from Castro. While the Cubs responded in the third with Javier Baez's solo homer, New York seized control with Aaron Judge's RBI triple in the seventh and a two-run homer from Jacoby Ellsbury in the eighth.

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However, New York closer Aroldis Chapman couldn't lock it down against his former teammates. Albert Almora Jr. and Baez each tallied an RBI in the ninth before Chapman drilled Anthony Rizzo with a pitch with the bases loaded to tie the game.

As a result, extra innings and a 14th-inning stretch became a possibility:

Chicago Cubs @Cubs

14th inning stretch! https://t.co/zOGj6ScB1M

Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times noted the Cubs did some growing up during the marathon game:

Dan Woike @DanWoikeSports

They were cubs when it started, but they're bears now

It wasn't all pitching preventing runs in extras, however; Kyle Schwarber paid homage to Derek Jeter when he leaped into the crowd with a fantastic catch:

Chicago Cubs @Cubs

#ThatsCub https://t.co/cVj0SpTlU4

Chicago Cubs @Cubs

https://t.co/lrrkSdVpQO

There was also plenty of weird baseball during the course of 18 innings.

Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta pinch-hit in the 14th, even though he is scheduled to start Monday's game against the Colorado Rockies. And Yankees outfielder Hicks lost the ball on Baez's home run as it sailed over his head:

Attention naturally turns to Monday, when the Cubs have to play at Coors Field in Denver. The Yankees have a shorter trip to Cincinnati.

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