The Rockies Stunned The Cubs In 13 Innings To Win The NL Wild Card Game

Getty Image

The Chicago Cubs won 95 games this season, but they lost two in two — well technically three — days and are officially out of the MLB postseason.

The Colorado Rockies stunned the 2016 World Series champions, 2-1, in a marathon 13-inning thriller that featured excellent pitching and a resilient Rockies team bouncing back from a loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers just over a day earlier to force them into the Wild Card Game.

Both teams landed in the Wild Card after losing a Game 163, the first time in Major League Baseball history that had ever happened. Chicago’s loss to the Brewers on Monday set up a potential rematch if they could beat Colorado at home, but for the second straight day they couldn’t muster a lead in the Friendly Confines.

Tied at one in the top of the 13th, Tony Wolters hit a single up the middle with two outs and runners on the corners on a 1-2 pitch to send home Trevor Story from third to give the Rockies the lead.

The game made history in a variety of ways. It was the longest winner-take-all game in MLB history, and it was the longest postseason game in Wrigley Field history, both in time and innings.

Chicago did force those extra innings in the eighth when Javier Baez hit an RBI double to bring home the speedy Terrane Gore, who flew around the bases on the gapper to left center to even the score.

Chicago got a brilliant start from ace Jon Lester, who went six innings and struck out nine while allowing just four hits. Rockies starter Kyle Freeland was also rock solid, allowing four hits over 6 2/3 shutout innings and striking out six. Freeland started on just three days rest but had throw njust 58 pithes through five innings. He made quick work of a Cubs lineup that struggled to even get to ball three most of the night.

Lester, meanwhile, only got touched up in first inning when Nolan Arenado drove home Charlie Blackmon on a sacrifice fly. His nine strikeouts were a career postseason high, and also a season high. None were bigger than this one to limit the damage to a run, which the Cubs were able to finally get back and force extra innings.

The game itself, much like Monday’s game at Wrigley, was fun as hell and extremely tense. It also featured a really fun moment in teh 11th when Nolan Arenado and Baez shared a hug after the former tagged him out on the basepaths right in the middle of the dang game.

Once Wolters — who did not start and was forced to the plate after a double switch — gave Colorado the lead, Chicago just couldn’t get anything going in the bottom of the 13th and their fate was sealed.

As Lester very eloquently said after the loss, sometimes that’s just postseason baseball for you.

The win sets up an NLDS showdown between the Rockies and the Brewers, who won the right to host over Chicago on Monday. It also gives baseball fans a lot less time to prepare for the AL Wild Card Game, which the New York Yankees will host at 8 p.m. against the Oakland Athletics.