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The Chicago Cubs finally featured Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler in the lineup together last night, and, although the offensive explosion wasn’t quite what we may have hoped for, the outcome was pretty damn exciting. That was thanks, in large part, to a pair of plays in the 8th and 9th innings – one that saved the game, and one that won it.

The game saver came courtesy of Arismendy Alcantara in center field, who caught up to an alley drive that would have given the Reds a 1-0 lead in the 8th inning, and put a second possible run on second or third base:

You can’t watch that and not think two things: (1) Alcantara has great closing speed when he’s identified the ball’s trajectory; and (2) ouch.

The wall at Wrigley is a beautiful thing 99.9% of the time. The other 0.1%? It’s times like that. Alcantara stayed in the game, and hopefully will be fine.

His awesome catch, then, set up the excitement in the bottom of the 9th. Before the inning began, I joked on Twitter:

In retrospect, it was a foolish question. In his long-awaited return, of course it would be Rizzo:

He knew it off the bat, and you could hear it in the sound. For a guy who had missed three weeks with a back strain, that’s a hell of an awesome way to return.

You knew it would be John Baker, didn’t you?

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