It was a game that always figured to be low-scoring, thanks to the cold, the wind, and a wide strike zone (except when Kyle Hendricks was pitching to Chris Carter in the second inning for some reason). Hendricks pitched perfectly to the conditions for five innings, giving up only the one run (again, thanks in part to a questionable zone), and being pulled only because the Cubs had two on for the pitcher’s spot in the bottom of the 5th. Joe Maddon elected to pinch hit, and the Cubs wound up tying the game that inning.
Later, Addison Russell clubbed a two-run triple to give the Cubs the lead.
In the 7th inning, Javy Baez came into the game as a pinch hitter, and singled. From there, he stole second base – with some help from a replay review and an absolutely inhuman slide – and later scored on an Anthony Rizzo hit. At the time, it increased the Cubs’ lead to three, and may have looked inconsequential.
Except it wound up being the deciding run in the game, as Pedro Strop battled some wildness in the top of the 8th, with Ryan Braun doubling in two guys Strop had walked.
And these two guys played a huge part in pulling this one out: