Top 10 Games of 2020: Walk-off magic
The 2020 Cubs season may have been shorter than normal, but it was packed with huge moments and thrilling games. Marquee Sports Network is counting down the Top 10 games of the year — featuring a new Top 10 game each weeknight in November on our network.
No. 9 – Cubs vs. Indians (Sept. 16)
The Indians pushed the Cubs to extra innings, but the North Siders pulled it out in the bottom of the 10th thanks to walk-off hit from Javy Báez.
Another Jon Lester start makes the Top 10 Cubs Games list and it wound up as his last Wrigley Field appearance of the 2020 season. He admitted he felt a lot of emotions throughout the game and might have been trying a bit too hard.
2020 marked Lester’s sixth season in a Cubs uniform, the last guaranteed year of the contract he signed prior to the 2015 campaign. The Cubs declined his option already this offseason and while there’s still potential for a reunion, nothing is guaranteed.
So for Lester, Sept. 16 was an emotional day as he took the Wrigley mound for what may have been the final time.
“I didn’t think six years would go this fast,” he said after the game.
David Ross knew what the day meant to Lester and had to make the gut-wrenching call to take the veteran southpaw out after only 62 pitches over 5 innings. But the Cubs bullpen stepped up the rest of the way, combining to allow just 1 hit in 5 shutout innings while striking out 7.
This game also wound up being reliever Rowan Wick’s final appearance of the season as he walked off the mound in between innings with a left oblique injury that sidelined him the rest of the way.
Jason Adam navigated a difficult situation in the top of the 10th inning, putting his team in a great spot to win it in the bottom half of the frame.
With Ian Happ as the designated runner on second base to start the inning, Kris Bryant immediately singled and Anthony Rizzo was intentionally walked, loading the bases with nobody out.
The Cubs had perplexing issues cashing in with the bases loaded throughout the season and it looked like this could follow the same script as Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber both struck out and Báez got down quickly 0-2. But Báez reached out and connected on Phil Maton’s offering, yanking it into left field for the game-winner and lifting the Cubs to their second straight walk-off win.
The victory gave the Cubs a 4-0 record against the Indians in 2020.
Pregame | Taylor McGregor joins the Wrigley Field grounds crew
2nd inning | Jason Heyward ties the game with an RBI single