It was a strange day for baseball in Chicago on Saturday. The day was a dreary, drizzly mess, with the dark clouds looking like a grim portent of things to come. At first, the Wrigley faithful must have assumed the omen was against the Cubbies, as they fell behind, 10-2, to the Braves after four innings.
Teams usually don’t come back from that. In fact, according to Fangraphs, the Cubs had a 1.3 percent chance of winning the game. But the Cubs liked those odds..
They cut the lead to 10-5 entering the bottom of the eighth and that’s when things got wild, as the Cubs scored nine runsen route to a 14-10 victory. Just look at this graph (preferably while listening to this):
The comeback was a run shy of the franchise’s biggest, which came on Aug. 29, 1989, when Chicago erased a nine-run deficit against the Astros.
So, let’s look at the best moments from this wild, wild, wild inning, starting when Jose Ramirez entered from the pen. After striking out Efren Navarro, there were two on and two out. The Braves were four outs away from holding the five-run lead.
But Kris Bryant — only his piercing, blue eyes visible from behind his balaclava — was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.
Willson Contreras then dribbled a ball in front of the plate and wound up on first base. You don’t often see a ball hit to the catcher scoring a run, but here we are:
Ben Zobrist then walked, cutting the lead to three. This woman loved it.
Javier Baez was next up and worked the count to 3-2. He took a giant swing and caught just the smallest piece to stay alive. Had he missed, the inning would have ended and the Cubs maybe don’t come back.
Instead, one pitch later, Baez laced a ball up the middle. Given how the defense was aligned, the ball just kept on rolling until the bases were emptied.
The newly tied game inspired this fan — head covered with a bag for some reason — to wiggle back and forth:
Sam Freeman entered, but the walks kept coming. Addison Russell was intentionally walked, Heyward drew a walk to load the bases and Kyle Schwarber — who struck out earlier in the inning — took four wide ones to give the Cubs the lead.
Then, Tommy La Stella also walked to make it 12-10. The comeback was so hot, these fans’ shirts melted clean off:
Peter Moylan then entered and his first pitch went way wide. It was almost as if there was a curse preventing pitches from crossing the plate.
One run scored. Schwarber rounded third and was seemingly caught between bases, but the throw went to second to try and nab La Stella. Just as the pitchers couldn’t locate, neither could Kurt Suzuki and his throw sailed into center field. Then the throw home went wide. This was a silent movie made in 2018:
Moylan’s face said it all:
As did this Cubs fan’s:
When it was all over, Bryant had no choice but to remove his face mask and celebrate. This is what a comeback looks like:
Despite not being on the field for the comeback, Eddie Butler was just as important to the victory. As he told MLB.com’s Jeff Arnold, the pitcher was in the trainer’s room when the comeback began. Sure enough, the trainer told everyone to keep doing what they were doing, so Butler had the same thing stretched out for 20 minutes straight. “I was really loose,” Butler said.