I just finished listening to tonight's Cubs game.
Okay, that might not mean much to most people, but you're missing part of the story. The game took 16 innings, and lasted six hours and 27 minutes. It was the longest game in Chicago Cubs history. Given that the Cubs franchise began in 1870 -- 144 years ago -- and they're not only one of the two oldest teams in major league baseball, but also the oldest professional sports team (any sport) in the United States to play continuously in one city...that's a long history. But hey, it was a long game.
The winning pitcher was John Baker. Again, that might not mean much to most people, but you're missing part ofthat story, too. You see, John Baker isn't actually a pitcher. He's a catcher. But the Cubs had run out of pitchers to use. So, in the top of the 16th inning, they had no choice to put Baker in. He got the first batter for the Colorado Rockies out, walked the next one, and then the third batter hit into a double-play. His Earned Run Average is now officially 0.00.
There was oddly enough a bonus in having Baker in pitching. That meant that when it was the pitcher's turn to bat, the Cubs would have a position player at the plate, someone who knew how to hit, rather than a weak-hitting pitcher. And it paid off. Because Baker led off the bottom of the 16th inning -- and walked.
Eventually, he moved to third base, as the Cubs loaded the bases. That brought all-star shortstop Starlin Castro to the plate with one out. And if he could drive in Baker at third, that would mean that John Baker would score the winning run to make him the winning pitcher.
And here's how it blessedly ended at 1:34 AM in Chicago. And now I can go to sleep.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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