The Rockies and Cubs came into this wildcard game kind of in the same boat with both teams having to play the night before minus the fact the Cubs didn’t have to travel at all. Despite that, the Rockies were able to overtake the Cubs 2-1 on a go-ahead 2-out RBI single from third catcher Tony Wolters in the top of the 13th to complete the longest sudden-death game in baseball history.
Colorado Rockies Advance to the NLDS
The Rockies jumped out on top right from the start getting a leadoff walk from Charlie Blackmon followed by DJ LeMathieu smoking a ground-rule double into the ivy. Nolan Arenado in the very next at-bat drove in Blackmon with a sacrifice fly out to center field providing the only run support Kyle Freeland would receive.
Cy Young candidate Kyle Freeland tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings striking out six along the way while holding the Cubs to only four hits, all singles. Bud Black decided to pull Freeland, who ended with a no-decision, in favor of Adam Ottavino after allowing a 2-out single in the bottom of the seventh. The Cubs were able to load the bases after a walk by Wilson Contreras and catcher’s interference, but Ottavino struck out pinch-hitter Jason Heyward to preserve the 1-0 lead.
Jon Lester did about all he could for the Cubs, only allowing that one first-inning run then putting up zeros in the following five innings while striking out nine batters. MVP candidate Javier Baez was able to get Lester off the hook for the loss in the bottom of the eighth delivering with a 2-out RBI double to bring home the tying run in Anthony Rizzo, who along with Baez were both hitless up to this point.
Both teams had no luck breaking the tie in their halves of the ninth, so it was up to extra innings to crown a winner and the 13th inning did just that. Back-to-back 2-out singles by Trevor Story and Gerardo Parra set the stage for Tony Wolters, who came through for the Rockies with the game-winning RBI single after being down in the count 1-2.
The Rockies will head to Milwaukee Thursday to take on the Brewers for game one of the NLDS with first pitch set for 5:07 pm on Fox Sports 1. The starting pitchers for the game have yet to be announced, however, Wade Miley, judging by rest, looks to be the guy for the Brewers and the Rockies could possibly go with Jon Gray.
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