Normally, I wouldn’t write about the ending of a non-Cubs game here in June. September? Late August? If it was part of a tight race and it was a particularly important or compelling game? Yeah, probably.
But there are a handful of factors that compel me to share this particular ending with you:
1.) The Cubs were just swept by the Cardinals at Wrigley Field, and two of those games featured near 9th-inning comebacks against embattled Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal;
2.) The Cubs won last night, which means a Cardinals loss would push the Central division lead back to two digits, which feels like a moment; and
3.) The Cardinals entered the bottom of the 9th inning last night against the Mariners leading by a semi-comfortable two runs.
Thus, when the Mariners got two on base and then Adam Lind did this, it is a pretty exciting moment:
After the game, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was far from committal when asked about whether Rosenthal will hang onto his closer job (presumably Matheny is thinking about how close Rosenthal was to blowing those two games against the Cubs, too (if not for some baserunning misadventures by the Cubs, he would have blown one of them)).
We’ll see if this leads to a change in the Cardinals bullpen, but it’s a big moment for them, because Rosenthal had been one of the best in the game for years until this season. Without him at his best, that bullpen looks awfully un-scary.
One last thing: did you see who caught that Adam Lind homer? And did you see how excitedly they were celebrating? I’m sure I’d be pumped to catch a homer, too, but not necessarily in that moment if I were a Cardinals fan:
Two Cardinals fans celebrate after catching last night's walk-off homer … by the Mariners. pic.twitter.com/bI5xBzMNhB
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) June 25, 2016