The 18-Inning Game Between the Pirates and Nationals Featured a Trio of Amazing Plays

In what ended up being essentially a doubleheader, Sunday's marathon provided us with three game-changing plays. Let's check them out.

Two for the price of one.

That's what fans received during Sunday's marathon contest between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals. Cutting to the chase, the game lasted 18 innings and was the longest regular-season game the Nationals have played since moving to the District.

Let's back up and find out how the two teams reached this point.

The Nationals had Max Scherzer on the mound, and he put on his usual dominant performance, allowing just 1 run on 6 hits across 7 innings, while striking out 7 and walking 1.

Believe it or not, he was bested by Pirates' rookie Chad Kuhl, who threw six scoreless innings, allowing just 1 hit and no walks to 5 strikeouts.

These performances led to a 1-0 score in the bottom of the ninth inning, with the Nats down to their last out when Daniel Murphy -- who was pinch-hitting -- stepped to the plate.

Then this happened.

Murphy did the improbable, taking Pirates' closer Mark Melancon deep to tie the game and send it to extras. Check out the game graph (via FanGraphs) and you'll see that the Nationals basically had no chance of winning (it was actually 4.4%) prior to Murphy's at-bat.

The winning percentage for the Nats jumped to 53.4% after Murphy's home run, making plenty of Pirates fans angry, but none more so than this little guy.

The next six innings went by without much excitement, as both bullpens did an excellent job of neutralizing opposing hitters. That takes us to the top of the 16th inning, when the action picked up again.

After a two-out walk by Eric Fryer, the Pirates had a runner on first and Josh Harrison at the plate. He crushed a ball to center field, and it seemed like the Pirates were going to easily take the lead.

Not so fast.

With basically two perfect throws, first by center fielder Michael Taylor and then by shortstop Danny Espinosa, the Nats were able to nab Fryer at the plate and keep the score tied.

Check out the breakdown of the relay via Statcast guru Darren Willman.

Unfortunately for the Nats, they were unable to take advantage of the game-saving play, and their offense was stymied again by the Pirates' bullpen.

That takes us to the third -- and final -- amazing play of the game, which came in the top of the 18th inning via Starling Marte.

Just watch.

Marte's solo home run was absolutely crushed, with an exit velocity of 111.1 miles per hour (via Willman), which is the second-hardest ball he's hit all season.

After two singles in the bottom of the frame by the Nationals, Espinosa struck out to end the game and give the Pirates the win. With 9 scoreless innings from their bullpen -- after Melancon departed -- and just 4 hits allowed, it was a much-deserved win for Pittsburgh.