Hello friends. This recap is being brought to you by champagne, orange juice, and Michelob Ultra. It has been a fun day at the Boog household, and it’s not over yet. I am also live blogging this recap today, so you will get my immediate reactions to what is starting out to be a shitty game!
[Editor’s Note: I am not going to change this intro because it did, in fact, start as a shitty game, and I think the fact that I powered through it with enthusiasm says something about me.]
The first two hitters for the Cardinals – Tommy Pham and Matt Carpenter – walk to start the bottom of the first. Two on, no one out. This looks promising! Or so I thought. But, Martinez strikes out, Ozuna pops out, Yadi strikes out, and suddenly it’s over with nothing to show for it. Tommy Pham is disappointed he didn’t steal third base when he had the chance, which was every single pitch to Molina. Onward.
The top of the second is not great. Kyle Schwarber with a bloop base hit, Addison Russell with a base hit, Jason Heyward with the only base hit he’s ever had since he left St. Louis, and suddenly bases are loaded with nobody out. I wonder to myself, is this karmic retribution for Luke Weaver wearing #7? The number of Matt Holliday, the number of a HITTER? Is this what the Gods of Baseball demand as sacrifice?! I realize I’ve had 3/4 a bottle of champagne and decide that I am slightly overreacting.
The Cubs kill us in this inning. Nothing particularly hard hit, a lot of dumb luck, but we are dying all the same. Javier Baez broke his bat on a slowly hit ground ball, but a run manages to score. The pitcher, Tyler Chatwood, comes up to bat. He shows bunt. Easy out, yes? No! He bunts, Russell comes screaming in from third, Weaver fields the ball and flips it to Yadi, who is ready at the plate, Yadi tags Russell, OUT AT HOME! …Or was he? Cubs ask for the replay and it turns out Russell got his hand in at the tail of the plate. Call overturned. It is suddenly 2-0 Cubs, only one out.
Zobrist stands in. This guy is still a leadoff hitter, somehow. The how shows up next. Single on a ground ball through the infield (if the bases were empty, he would have been out, but everyone is playing out of position), and Heyward scores. 3-0 Baddies. Bryant pops out to the infield, but Rizzo gets a hit and it is 4-0 and I am sulking.
So I’m just sitting here live blogging along, and suddenly Harrison Bader is batting for Tommy Pham. “WHAT?!” I say. I get no answers.
The Cardinals momentarily scored in the bottom of the second, but it was taken away on another Cubs challenge. The umpires are bad today, I suppose. I’m putting my swimsuit on. It’s 100 degrees in Phoenix.
I learned in the fourth inning that Jim Edmonds’ daughter was at that concert in Las Vegas where so many people were gunned down. According to Dan, who talked to Jim, she is still “shook up.” Of course she is. What a terrible thing. Not really sure why they are talking about this and Parkland on the broadcast, but before I can have too many thoughts about it, I see Kolten Wong get hit by a pitch and the bases are loaded with no one out. Second time he’s been hit today. BASEBALL!
Sacrifice fly by Greg Garcia, hitting for Weaver. 4-1 Cardinals. Bader up. Ground ball to Rizzo, bad throw to second base, Russell misses it, everyone is safe and a run scores! 4-2 Good Guys. Matt Carpenter leans in. At some point, Bader steals second base.
AAAAHHHHH!!!! Carpenter with a deep fly ball to left field, Schwarber tracking it the whole time, and just… does not catch it. How?! Who cares! He missed it! Two runs score, now it’s 4-4 – tie game, my dudes! (This is comeback #1, if you’re keeping score at home.)
Leave it to Baez to take the wind out of my sails. Solo home run in the top of the 6th off Ryan Sheriff makes it 5-4. A very good play by Bader saves another hit. Whew.
But then. THEN. Rizzo with a homer in the 7th. 6-4 Cubs. Can the Cardinals mount another comeback? Stay tuned.
Fast forward to bottom of the ninth. Bader gets on base. Carpenter draws the count to 3-1 and I will tell you, what they called strike 2 was in fact not a strike. Way off the plate. But 3-2 it is and then Carpenter strikes out looking on an inside pitch that was actually at least in the zone. But Carp thinks he has a walk and he is like halfway to first base before he realizes and everyone is embarrassed.
Folks, I was listening very carefully for a singing fat lady, but I heard NOTHING. So, we continue.
Jose Martinez – BASE HIT.
Marcell Ozuna – DOUBLE TO THE LEFT FIELD CORNER. Bader scores, Martinez scores, it is a tie game. I am jumping up and down and screaming and pumping my fist and saying things you might expect, like “YESSSS!!!”
Dexter Fowler, 0-2 count. Fouls one off. Takes a ball. I yell at him that I would like him to win this game. Another ball. And another. Full count. FOWLER WITH A DEEP DRIVE TO RIGHT FIELD…I am out of my chair, losing my voice, willing that ball to keep going, but, alas, it lands in the glove of Jason Heyward. Bonus baseball, fans. I am exhausted.
#BudChuck pitches the 10th. (Remember that? Remember when we were all upset about how the Cardinals could never muster a hit off Bud Norris and he wasn’t even very good and how I always thought he was a soft-tossing lefty because that was another silly meme going around about the Cardinals in recent years? I digress.) First hitter is out. Second hitter is Jason Heyward, who seems to have become an average hitter again and gets a slap hit to left field. I derive a significant amount of joy watching Heyward suck ass in the years since he left, so this is disappointing to me.
Norris gets a second out, but then leaves suddenly. Not sure what happened to him. What is up with all the injuries lately? I should mention here that Yadi also left the game after an unfortunate foul ball hit him in an unfortunate region. There are no position players left. The pitcher’s spot is due up in the bottom of the 10th. I am wringing my hands. Tyler Lyons comes in to pitch. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him with a bat in his hand. But I bet he’ll look hot.
Matt Carpenter snags the ball on a smoking line shot down the left field line. So fast I didn’t even see the play. The 6-6 score remains.
Luke Farrell in for the Cubbies?
(That’s a Will Farrell joke, you guys.)
It occurs to me Paul DeJong could hit a home run and then I wouldn’t have to fret about the pitcher’s spot coming up. Seems like a good idea. He works the count to 3-1. He takes ball 4. That’ll do, Paul; that’ll do.
Kolten wants to walk this game off. You can just tell. If you know anything about Kolten Wong, you know he wants this more than anything. He can hear that bat crack. He can hear that crowd losing its collective mind. He can taste that Gatorade shower.
HOLY CATS!!! HE DID IT!!! I CALLED IT!!! (Kind of.) KOLTEN WONG HITS A WALK OFF HOME RUN AND THE CARDINALS WIN THE GAME 8-6!!!
In the postgame show, Wong said he was not looking for a home run there, but we all know that’s a lie. He says that there are a lot of Cubs fans at Busch and it was fun to piss them off. That is definitely the truth.
Happy Saturday, everyone! Hope you are enjoying it as much as Kolten Wong is.