1990’s Week: Game 163
Head back in time as the Cubs face the Giants in Game 163 in 1998. 1990’s Week, proudly presented by Prevagen.
Sept. 28, 1998: Game 163 vs. Giants
This could otherwise be referred to as “The Gary Gaetti Game.”
The Cubs acquired “The Rat” on Aug. 19 after the St. Louis Cardinals had released him a few days prior.
All Gaetti did was hit .320 with a .991 OPS with the Cubs, driving in 27 runs in 37 games. That includes a huge 2-run shot in Game 163 against the Giants to begin the scoring and give the Cubs a lead they did not relinquish in the do-or-die contest.
The Cubs and Giants finished the 162-game season tied with identical 89-73 records and the National League Wild-Card spot needed an extra game to determine who was going to move on to face the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS.
The Cubs sent Steve Trachsel to the mound against Mark Gardner in front of 39,556 fans at Wrigley Field for a 7:10 p.m. first pitch. More than 3.5 hours later, the Cubs walked away winners (though they eventually were swept by the Braves 3-0 in the NLDS).
Still, it was the first time the franchise had made it to the postseason in nearly a decade (since the 1989 season).
Gaetti hit a 2-run shot in the 5th inning off Gardner and the Cubs added 3 more runs to build a 5-0 lead. The Giants mounted a comeback in the top of the 9th, scoring 3 runs off Kevin Tapani and Terry Mulholland, but closer Rod Beck came on to shut the door and pick up his 51st save of the season.
Barry Bonds hit 37 homers and finished 8th in NL MVP voting that season, but he went 0-for-4 with only a sacrifice fly against the Cubs in Game 163.
1990’s Week, proudly presented by Prevagen, airs each night this week at 7 p.m. on Marquee Sports Network. Click here to see the full rundown of featured games.
Tony Andracki contributed to this story