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Addison Russell and the Comeback Cubs Really Saved the Off-Day

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs Highlights

Today was looking like it was going to be a grim one.

It was the middle innings of another frustrating Cubs game, their fifth in the last six games. The thrill of the big comeback on Tuesday night had long worn off, what with the Cubs immediately going down early again, and little more than an Albert Almora Jr. homer (a beauty, admittedly) to show for the comeback efforts.


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And then Willson Contreras drove in a run in the 6th, and the Cubs were down just two. The bullpen was holding steady, so … maybe. The Cubs went scoreless in the 7th, though, and the natural decline in Cubs fan spirits set back in.

But then Addison Russell swung at a pitch he totally shouldn’t have, managing to poke it into right field, scoring a run in the 8th inning, and putting the tying run in scoring position. Contreras struck out, but Rizzo and Russell pulled off a double steal to bring that tying run to third. But then Almora and Javy Baez also struck out, ending the threat, and once again imperiling our joy.

How quickly we forget what these Cubs can do.

After Kyle Schwarber popped out to begin the 9th, Jon Jay walked, Miguel Montero singled, and then Kris Bryant played sub-hero to Addison Russell’s big hero:

As I mentioned on Twitter three minutes before that shot, I had a workout class that I was going to have to miss if the Cubs didn’t walk it off within the next four minutes. Thanks, Addison. I owe you a smoothie.

Partly for that reason, but mostly because it was exciting as hell, I literally jumped out of my seat and shouted a version of “oh yeah baby” for which I’m glad my kids were out of earshot. I imagine you did something similar.

Russell knew it was gone immediately, and so did the man standing behind him on deck:


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More beautiful shots of the moment:

I love it. The pictures and video are so completely evocative of the two Kris Bryant walk-off shots in 2015, the Javy Baez Mother’s Day walk-off last year, and the Aramis Ramirez walk-off shot against the Brewers back in 2007.


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With the win, the entire story of today changes. Rather than brooding about the Cubs losing five of six to the Pirates and Brewers, and doing so without a lot of life … the story is suddenly that the Cubs won their series against the Brewers with two thrilling, comeback wins, including a walk-off winner yesterday. Further, rather than being a game under .500 with three series wins and two series losses, the Cubs are a game over .500, winning every series this year except one.


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Yes, that’s all just narrative gobbledygook, and if the Cubs had lost yesterday, they’d be only an extra loss worse for it.

But, for me at least, that narrative stuff helps me on the off-days. I just feel better today because of what I can tell myself about how the season has played out so far. (Even if I know when I dig in on certain players today, it’s going to get dicey …. )

For now, I’m happy. Good win. Good series. Good off-day.


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.