Giants Take Game 2 of NLDS on Belt’s 18th-Inning Home Run

It only took six hours and 23 minutes for the Giants to win Game 2 of the National League Division Series, beating the Washington Nationals 2-1 in an 18-inning thriller.

The game’s first half was dominated by pitching. Giants’ starter Tim Hudson threw a strong    7 ⅔ innings, striking out eight and giving up just one run in the third on an Asdrubal Cabrera single.

Even better than Hudson was Nationals’ starter Jordan Zimmermann, who only gave up three hits in 8 ⅔ innings, and at one point retiring twenty batters in a row.

Going into the top of the ninth inning, the Giants were down 1-0. With two outs, second baseman Joe Panik drew a walk. That took Zimmermann out of the game. His replacement, Drew Storen, gave up a single to catcher Buster Posey on his first pitch, putting runners at first and second with two outs. Two pitches later, third baseman Pablo Sandoval doubled down the left field line, scoring Panik and almost scoring Posey, who was thrown out at the plate.

That sent the game into extra innings.

The Giants used all but one of their relievers in the game. The standout from the bullpen was Yusmiero Petit, who threw six innings, giving up no runs on only one hit, striking out seven and getting the win.

In the top of the 18th inning, first baseman Brandon Belt, in his seventh at-bat of the game, leadoff the inning with a home run to give the Giants a 2-1 lead.

Rookie Hunter Strickland came in to pitch the bottom of the 18th and got the save.

The game is tied for the longest postseason game in terms of innings played, and broke the record for the longest postseason game in terms of time.

The Giants and Nationals will fly west to San Francisco tomorrow, and the series will resume on Monday. San Francisco will win the series with a third win. They’ll send out their ace, Madison Bumgarner, who was the hero of the Wild Card Game. He will go up against Doug Fister in a rematch of Game 2 of the 2012 World Series, where Bumgarner beat Fister, who at the time was with the Detroit Tigers.