Game Thirty-Eight – Cubs 2, Brewers 1 – 13 innings
WP – Travis Wood (2-0) LP – Carlos Torres (0-1) Save – Clayton Richard (1)
Travis Wood drove in the winning run and was the winning pitcher in the marathon victory over the Brewers on Wednesday night that actually ended early Thursday morning. Wood worked a bases loaded walk in the 13th inning after escaping a bases loaded no out jam in the 12th inning. The Cubs snapped their two-game skid with what will be one of the unforgettable wins of the season.
Ben Zobrist (3-for-5 with a double, a walk and a run scored) singled to center with one out in the 13th. Zobrist swiped second. Tommy La Stella (1-for-5 with a HBP) was hit by a pitch. Addison Russell (1-for-6 with a double and a RBI) struck out swinging. The Brewers intentionally walked Miguel Montero to load the bases for Travis Wood. Carlos Torres could not throw strikes and walked Wood to force in Zobrist with the go ahead run.
Joe Maddon ended up using Travis Wood, Neil Ramirez and Clayton Richard to record three outs in the 13th after Jonathan Villar led off with a double. Wood retired Scooter Gennett on a bouncer back to the mound. Maddon went to his pen for Ramirez to face Jonathan Lucroy. Villar took third on a wild pitch. Ramirez walked Lucroy and put runners on the corners with one out. Ramirez caught Chris Carter looking at a 2-2 pitch for the second out.
Maddon went back to his pen for lefty Clayton Richard. Lucroy took second base and represented the winning run. But Kirk Nieuwenhuis grounded a 3-2 pitch to Zobrist for the final out in a game that took five hours and 13 innings to decide.
Travis Wood pulled a Houdini act in the 12th inning in what was an incredible half inning. Hector Rondon started the 12th after pitching a scoreless 11th inning. Chris Carter reached on an error by Tommy La Stella at third and Rondon walked Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Maddon went to his pen for Wood and he walked Domingo Santana to load the bases with no outs and the game tied at one.
Maddon had a meeting on the mound brought Kris Bryant in from left field and went with five infielders with the game on the line. Hernan Perez pinch hit for Alex Presley and popped out to center. The ball was not hit deep enough for Carter to tag from third. Before Aaron Hill stepped in, Maddon moved Bryant to first and Baez to third. The two actually switched gloves as they crossed behind the mound. Baez grabbed his infielder’s glove from the dugout and Bryant used Baez’s first baseman’s glove. Hill popped out to Russell for the second out. Baez went back to first, Bryant jogged out to left and with two outs. The Cubs went back to a normal defense.
Martin Maldonado hit for Blaine Boyer. Wood jammed him on a 3-2 pitch and Maldonado popped the ball up behind the mound. Baez called off a stumbling Wood and caught the ball to end the inning.
Anthony Rizzo (0-for-3 with a HBP) led off the ninth with the Cubs down 1-0. Rizzo was hit by a pitch. Maddon sent in Javier Baez to run for Rizzo. Zobrist singled to right. But the ball was hit too hard for Baez to advance to third. La Stella bounced out to second. Baez and Zobrist moved up 90 feet with one out.
Addison Russell put the ball in play and grounded out to second. Baez scored and tied the game at one.
The Cubs had another rough game at Miller Park. Three innings ended on double plays and a runner was picked off (Dexter Fowler) to end another inning.
The Cubs could not buy a clutch hit Wednesday night. The Cubs outhit the Brewers 10-6 but were a miserable 0-for-13 with a walk with runners in scoring position and left 14 men on base. The Cubs had plenty of chances to put the Brewers away before the clock struck midnight at Miller Park.
David Ross had one of the best defensive games that a catcher will turn in all season. Ross started the game and was responsible for four defensive outs. Ross threw out two runners trying to swipe a base and picked off two more, one of the pickoffs was technically a caught stealing. Ross really put on a clinic behind the plate on how to control a game.
John Lackey put the Cubs in position to win the game. For the second time in as many starts Lackey did not receive any support from the offense. Lackey did not make any mistakes in six innings. Lackey ran up his pitch count in the first inning (25 pitches) and that kept him from going deeper into the game.
The only run the Brewers scored off Lackey came in the fifth inning when Alex Presley grounded into a 4-6 fielder’s choice that allowed Kirk Nieuwenhuis to score from third base.
John Lackey turned the game over to the bullpen in the seventh inning. Lackey gave up one run on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Lackey made 101 pitches, 63 for strikes, in six innings.
Adam Warren hung a zero on the board in the seventh inning. Warren walked one and struck out one but no hits allowed in his inning of work.
Justin Grimm followed Warren and David Ross cleaned up his mistake. Grimm issued a two-out walk to Jonathan Villar. On a 1-2 pitch to Scooter Gennett, Villar tried to swipe second and Ross cut him down to end the inning.
Pedro Strop completed two scoreless innings. Strop retired the Brewers in order in the ninth to send the game into extra innings. Strop stayed in for the 10th and worked around a leadoff walk and a two-out bloop single by Aaron Hill that put runners on the corners. Strop caught pinch-hitter Ramon Flores looking (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.
Hector Rondon struck out two of the three batters he faced in the 11th on 19 pitches, 12 for strikes. Rondon was left in to start the 12th and was not as sharp. Rondon allowed the error by La Stella to rattle him. Rondon walked Nieuwenhuis before Maddon went to his pen for Travis Wood.
The Cubs bullpen completed seven innings and did not allow a run in relief of John Lackey.
Joe Maddon used his entire roster Wednesday night into Thursday morning with the exceptions of Arrieta, Lester, Hendricks and Hammel, his starting pitchers. Maddon did not want to give another game to the Brewers. While a few of his decisions raised questions, in the end an ugly win is a lot better than an ugly loss.
With Wednesday’s win, the Cubs improved to 28-10 on the season.
The Cubs wrap up the series in Milwaukee on Thursday afternoon (12:40pm CDT). Jason Hammel is scheduled to face Junior Guerra.