The Chicago Cubs did not pull off a comeback win last night, and that’ll be the headline. But it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Or a lack of opportunities. Or a lack of being oh so freaking close.
The Cubs were down two in the 9th against the Padres, with two outs and the bases empty. As Michael recounted in the EBS, the Cubs went hit, HBP, hit, HBP to get the game within a run, and load the bases for Frank “I Wasn’t Even Supposed to Be Here Today” Schwindel.
And with two strikes, Schwindel got ahold of one off of Padres closer Taylor Rogers. It might be … it could be … it isn’t:
Frank Schwindel on near go-ahead grand slam in 9th falling short by foot for final out: “I mean, I didn't celebrate it or anything, but I thought I hit it good enough to go for sure.
“It was a perfect situation to be in, that’s one you dream of as a kid.” pic.twitter.com/XW0KQKgKhJ
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) May 11, 2022
It was 102.5 mph off the bat at a 33-degree launch angle – just at the edge of qualifying for a “barrel” – and it turned out that it was probably just one degree too steep. Caught up against the wall, hopes dashed. The Cubs challenged the catch, as Jurickson Profar’s glove was up against the wall – might as well challenge at that point! – but it was obviously a catch.
Watching Frank Schwindel’s reaction, in particular, is pretty heartbreaking knowing the week he’s had:
I’m just thinking about how much that moment would’ve meant to Schwindel (and the Cubs). But because the ball didn’t go just a few more inches, it’s a game-ending out. Baseball can be beautiful but cruel.
If you were curious, although that was as close as you can get to a homer without it actually clearing the fence, that same shot would’ve been a homer in only five ballparks:
Frank Schwindel vs Taylor Rogers#ItsDifferentHere
Exit velo: 102.5 mph
Launch angle: 33 deg
Proj. distance: 357 ft
This would have been a home run in 5/30 MLB ballparks
CHC (4) @ SD (5)
🔺 9th pic.twitter.com/CebqS4or8j
— Would it dong? (@would_it_dong) May 11, 2022
Of course, by the eyeball test, one of those parks would’ve been Wrigley Field, because of where the left center alley curves back out (there’s a 50-foot length of the wall where it is the shortest left-center in baseball).