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The story of Catfish Hunter and Frank Tanana's 13 inning pitchers' duel

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Two days after playing a 19 inning against the Twins, Catfish Hunter and the Yankees got themselves into an extra innings battle.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Two days after winning a 19-inning game against the Twins at Yankee Stadium on August 25, 1976, the Yankees traveled across the country to play the California Angels. New York sent Catfish Hunter to the mound on August 27, 1976. Hunter was in his second season with the team, and was having an okay season. He made the All-Star team in '76, but would surrender a league-leading 28 home runs that year.

The Angels' starter on that day was Frank Tanana. The 1976 season was Tanana's fourth in the majors. He made his first All-Star game that year, and finished third in Cy Young votes. It was a pitching matchup featuring an established star, and one really starting to make a name for himself. What followed was quite the pitchers' duel.

The game's first baserunner didn't come until the top of the second when Chris Chambliss singled. Tanana got the next two hitters to fly out to get out of the inning. There then wasn't another baserunner until the bottom of the third, when Bob Jones led off for the Angels with a double. After a fielder's choice and a fly out, Dave Collins singled and stole second, putting two runners in scoring position. Hunter got Jerry Remy to fly out, and the game remained scoreless.

Hunter would have to escape situations with runners in scoring position again in the fourth, fifth, and sixth. Meanwhile, the Yankees were having even less success than the Angels. In the sixth, they had a runner on third with two outs, but that didn't lead to anything.

In the seventh, Lou Pinella led off for the Yankees with a single. Chambliss then reached on an error, which moved Pinella to third. After, Tanana struck out Graig Nettles and Willie Randolph, Fran Healy drew a walk to load the bases. However, Fred Stanley grounded out to end the inning, keeping the game scoreless still.

After that, Hunter and Tanana continued to put up zeros. The game continued into extra innings with no score, and Hunter and Tanana kept on going. In the 10th, the Yankees had a chance when Healy led off with a single, and was bunted into scoring position by Stanley, but the Yankees could not push the run across.

The Angels also put a runner in scoring position in the 10th when Remy hit a one-out double. Hunter would again work his way out of trouble, sending the game to the 11th inning. After the Yankees didn't take the lead in the top of the 11th, Terry Humphrey led off the bottom of the inning with a single. After two ground outs that led to force outs at second, Mario Guerrero singled. Despite the runner moving to third and the winning run being 90 feet away, Guerrero got thrown out trying to advance to second. The game went on to the 12th inning.

California stranded runners in scoring position in the 12th, and the Yankees did the same in the 13th. After the 13th inning, both starters would be replaced. Hunter went 13 innings, allowing 11 hits and four walks. Tanana allowed seven hits and two walks with 13 strikeouts in his 13 innings.

Sid Monge came in and threw a scoreless 14th for the Angels. Grant Jackson came in to pitch the 14th for the Yankees. Jackson was the pitcher who relieved Dick Tidrow after he had thrown 10.2 scoreless innings. For the second straight game, he was relieving someone who had thrown double digit scoreless innings. Jackson allowed a two-out single, but got out of the inning, sending the game to the 15th still scoreless.

With one out in the 15th, Mickey Rivers singled, followed by a Roy White single that moved Rivers to third. The Angels then replaced Monge with John Verhoeven. After White stole second, Thurman Munson grounded into a fielders' choice. Rivers scored on the play, with White moving to third. After 14 innings, the Yankees took a 1-0 lead. However, the Yankees then went on to add more. Pinella and Chambliss both reached safely, and Randolph dealt the big blow with a triple. By the time the inning was over, it was 5-0 Yankees. In the bottom of the inning, Jackson shut the Angels down to close out the game.

On August 25 and 27, 1976, the Yankees played 34 total innings of baseball. Grant Jackson pitched just four of those inning and was somehow the winning pitcher in both games.

Sources

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CAL/CAL197608270.shtml

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hunteca01.shtml

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/tananfr01.shtml