4/30/2013 8:27 P.M. ET
A View from Studio 3: Extra innings, beards and trends
By Matt Yallof / MLB.com
Its 3:30 a.m. You can't sleep. Two options. The first involves cheese doodles or anything you can find in the pantry. The other is checking game scores.
Early Tuesday morning I was convinced the Angels-Athletics game was delayed by rain. Numerous times. Or maybe the venue was switched to Japan? Why else would the game still be going in the middle of the night? But a change of venue would have made news though, right?
Turns out these western division rivals played an epic 19-inning game that lasted six hours and 32 minutes. The longest game in the history of the Coliseum. It took about the same amount of time it takes to fly from Oakland to Kaua'i. Or if you're so inclined, you could watch the entire Star Wars trilogy and have 13 minutes to spare. Ridiculous.
Angels catcher Chris Iannetta caught the entire game. Beyond ridiculous. Angels pitchers threw 297 of the 597 total pitches in the game. You think that's nuts? Try this: This game marked the ninth since 1916 to feature at least 17 K's on each side. But it's the second time its happened this season! The 14-inning game between the Mariners and Tigers on April 17 also appears on the list. ...
As the game gets younger, the beards get longer. There is no statistical data to back this up, but I am 100 percent sure the number of unkempt whiskers has increased from 2012. Literally hundreds of players have facial hair. I guess anyone able to grow a full beard by his mid-20s should show it off. It's impressive. I'm jealous. Here's my current list of best/worst beards in 2013.
1. Luke Scott. It's the wolverine look. With a shaved spot in the middle of his chin separating the sides. Something you'd see on a Charles Dickens character.
2. Jayson Werth. His beard has its own Twitter handle. Enough said.
3. Andrew Miller. Inspired by the guy talking to the volleyball in the movie "Castaway."
You'll never find a Yankees player with a beard. Because when guys arrive in New York, they're handed a razor along with a new uniform. In addition to a clean shave, a few players who are long in the tooth found the fountain of youth in the Bronx. Travis Hafner is one. To some extent, Lyle Overbay is another. And, of course, Vernon Wells. Wells, 34, is the $21-million-a-year player who was rotting on the Angels bench until a trade landed him in New York. Through April 29, Wells had six homers. Or more than half of his total from all of 2012. Put it another way: six homers is the same amount as the starting Angels outfield of Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos and Josh Hamilton have combined. ...
The Kansas City Royals came out the gates looking like a club ready to snap the longest playoff drought in the Majors. It's been 28 years. Roughly one-third of the current Royals players weren't even born the last time K.C. celebrated with champagne. Since 1985, there have been seven presidential elections and 17 franchises have won at least one World Series championship. History is not on the Royals side. Since the playoff format expanded in 1995, take a wild guess at how many Wild Card teams have come from the American League Central. You ready? One. The 2006 Detroit Tigers. On the bright side, the Tigers did go to the World Series. ...
The more you sift through the numbers, the more intriguing the Justin Upton story gets. Through April 29, Upton was hitting .393 (22-for-56) with 11 home runs with the bases empty. He was hitting .167 (6-for-36) with one home run with runners on base. Wow. Now consider this: Upton has hit 12 home runs in 92 at-bats. The Miami Marlins have hit 12 home runs in 873 at-bats. Please. Feel free to use those stats at the your weekend cookout or cocktail party. ...
Insiders attempting to explain the Colorado Rockies early-season success need to stop. This is all you need to know. Before suffering a shoulder sprain over the weekend, Troy Tulowitzki was healthy. Since 2007 -- the year the Rockies reached their only World Series -- the Rockies are 376-356 (.513) with Tulo in the starting lineup and 117-151 (.436) without him. That's impressive enough to be in the top three of the National League Most Valuable Player voting no matter what he does during the season. ...
It's a smaller story, but I know you're following it. Talking about Austin Jackson's run at Babe Ruth's single-season record for most runs scored since 1900. In 1921, Babe scored 177 runs. Through 24 games that season, he had crossed the plate 23 times. In Jackson's first 24 games this year, he's scored 25 runs. The Tigers leadoff man is on pace for 169. That would be the second-highest single-season total since 1900.
Gotta go. "Return of the Jedi" is about to begin.
Matt Yallof is the co-host of The Rundown on MLB Network from 2-4 p.m. ET. Follow him on twitter @mattyallofmlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.