Monday night, the Boston Red Sox are looking to advance to the American League Championship Series for the second time in four years, and the 100-win Tampa Bay Rays are trying to force a decisive Game 5. The pivotal Game 4 is being played at Fenway Park (live updates).
Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez retired the first nine batters he faced in Game 4, though the seventh batter, Austin Meadows, really made him work. Meadows worked a 17-pitch at-bat before striking out, and it is the longest postseason at-bat on record. The previous record was a 16-strikeout effort by Johnny Damon against Jon Lieber in the 2004 ALCS.
Meadows fouled away 10 consecutive two-strike pitches before swinging and missing at a slider for strike three. Here are all 17 pitch locations, via Statcast:
The longest regular season at-bat on record is a 21-pitch battle between Brandon Belt and Jaime Barria in April 2018. Belt flew out to end that battle. There are seven other 18-plus pitch at-bats on record, including one by current Red Sox manager Alex Cora. He hit a home run to cap off his 18-pitch at-bat against Matt Clement in 2004.
Meadows has really struggled against lefties this season (.198/.270/.293), so much so that he is often platooned, and he went into Game 4 with just one hit in 10 career at-bats against Rodriguez.