Data via Baseball-Reference.com
The 2014 playoffs have been filled with entertaining games — and those games have taken a lot of time to play out. Saturday’s 18-inning Giants-Nationals tilt was the longest postseason game ever, and three others have gone to extra innings, but as the chart above shows, even the nine-inning games have taken longer than usual. (Note that data is only through Sunday; Monday’s 2-hour, 47-minute Nationals-Giants game will bring down the average.)
All eight nine-inning playoff games to date have taken longer than the 2014 regular-season average, given the number of runs scored (naturally, higher-scoring games tend to take longer). From a simple linear regression — with a major small-sample-size caveat — postseason games have lasted an estimated
50 minutes 30 minutes longer than regular-season games of similar scoring.
Possibly the worst offender was Sunday’s Orioles-Tigers Game 3 — a 2-1 O’s victory, with just nine combined hits and one mid-inning pitching change, that somehow lasted 3 hours, 41 minutes. None of the 154 regular-season games with three combined runs lasted as long. Friday’s 3-2 Nationals victory in Game 1 was also the longest five-run game of 2014, lasting three hours, 55 minutes.