Whew. Man. That became the kind of game that you almost hate to lose more than you are happy to see the Cubs win.
With so many chances early un-cashed-in-on, and then so many missed opportunities to close the game out, the Cubs were the beneficiary of a Phillies gaffe in the 13th inning when they tried to turn a double play to end yet another Cubs threat, and the throw to first base got away, allowing Albert Almora to score the winning run. Exhale.
John Lackey – you remember that he started this one a long time ago, right? – presumably did what he wanted today with the wind blowing in, which was to pound the strike zone. That resulted in no walks and six strikeouts through five innings, but it also resulted in a whole lot of hard contact, and nine hits that scored three runs.
Still, that was enough for a tie game heading into the 8th, when – it never freaking fails – Carl Edwards Jr. allowed his first earned run of the year the very day I wrote about him not yet allowing a run. It was a solo Cameron Rupp homer, and that gave the Phillies the lead … until the bottom of the same inning when Miguel Montero tied things up with a solo homer of his own.
The Cubs got the tying run to second base with one out in the bottom of the 9th, and then Kris Bryant hit a single! Cubs win, right? Except Ben Zobrist had been picked off second base just before the single. D’oh.
From there, it was an all-hands-on-deck situation, and a back and forth of oopsies by both offenses until the Cubs walked it off in the 13th. The bullpen is likely to be taxed after this one – Koji Uehara was even pressed into back-to-back days duty (successful this time!) – so I wonder if we’ll see some creative roster maneuvering tomorrow to get an extra arm up.
In any case, that’s a win for the Cubs, and a series win, too!