Cubs put together historic rally to snatch victory from Cardinals
ST. LOUIS — As the Milwaukee Bucks were marching toward an NBA championship, the Cubs entered the 9th inning Tuesday night trailing the Cardinals 6-1.
A half an hour later, Craig Kimbrel trotted out from the left field bullpen to nail down his 22nd save of the season.
Patrick Wisdom actually struck out twice in the 9th inning but also simultaneously began the rally that ignited the Cubs’ 7-6 victory.
Wisdom started the inning by reaching on a dropped third strike. Nico Hoerner followed with an infield single. Jake Marisnick walked.
Pinch-hitter Sergio Alcántara also walked, driving home Wisdom with the first run. After a Willson Contreras strikeout, Anthony Rizzo walked to force home another tally. Javy Báez then worked a 3-1 count before smacking a 2-run single up the middle.
Ian Happ — who entered the game in place of Kris Bryant — doubled down the right field line to score Rizzo and Báez and give the Cubs the lead.
“It was fun,” Happ said. “It was just fun to be able to come through there in that situation to help the team and really the excitement of a baseball game. I’ve been grinding a lot this year and haven’t really had a lot of moments like that, so to have one of those and to really find that and feel that, that was really cool. And to be able to kind of complete that rally and we can turn it over to Craig from there, it’s obviously big.”
David Ross was in a jovial mood postgame and there was a lot for the Cubs manager to be happy about after the way his team continued to fight down to the final out.
“I love it. They don’t stop competing,” Ross said. “There’s no give up. With this group, their experience and when things haven’t been going our way, it would be really easy to cash one in, especially a game like that on a Tuesday night. The fact that guys hustle and get down the line and put pressure on the defense and own the strike zone.
“The pinch hitters again off the bench. Happer and Serg working that nice walk with the closer coming in. There’s just a lot of little things that go unnoticed that make you really happy. Nobody going up there, getting selfish, continue to have good at-bats and trying to get on base for the next guy. When we’ve been at our best, that’s been a real characteristic that we’ve been good at when we’ve done well. Super happy about that. Super proud of the guys to not give up.”
It was the first time the Cubs won a game trailing by 5 or more runs in the 9th inning since May 10, 2000, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
“Proud of the guys. I think that’s a shot in the arm of energy that I think we needed,” said Trevor Williams, who started the game for the Cubs. “To have the fight that we had in the 9th inning is special. It’s funny how it starts with a dropped 3rd strike. I think if you were to ask around the league if that’s a dumb rule or not, today it was a great rule for us.
“Just really proud of the guys tonight that we continued to fight until the end and we didn’t give up any ABs.”