What You Need to Know: Fans of the Cubs and Brewers, as well as baseball fanatics everywhere probably no longer have nails after two consecutive nights of this epic duel between division rivals amidst playoff contention in late-September. Both games went to extras, no less.
In both of those contests, things could’ve gone either way, but the luck dragon favored the Cubs when it was really crucial. What if Jeremy Jeffress had gotten to the bag a millisecond earlier? What if Javy Baez’s seeing-eye grounder was slightly off to the left? What if Eric Sogard could hold onto the bag? Sure, Corey Knebel being unavailable on Thursday was a huge disadvantage for the Brew Crew. But other than that, the showdown hasn’t disappointed us at all.
God, love us some meaningful September baseball.
Next Level: Here are some tidbits…
Jon Jay’s 15-pitch plate appearance was the longest, in terms of pitch count, by a Cub since Ronny Cedeno, who flew out to left on the 16th pitch on June 25 of 2006. The 15 pitches seen in one trip to the plate is tied for the second-most on the team since 1988, the first year in which Baseball Reference’s pitch-by-pitch data is complete (Rondell White in 2001). Jay now has a club-leading seven plate appearances in which he saw double-digit pitches this season. Despite those lengthy battles, his rank in P/PA among 97 National League hitters with at least 400 plate appearances this season, before the play tonight, was 46th, a modest 3.89 mark. At least that number went up tonight.
Tommy La Stella drew the first go-ahead walk in the ninth-inning or later by a Cub since Anthony Rizzo’s shrimp on August 11 last year. What about one by a Cubs pinch hitter? Todd Walker’s shrimp on Independence Day 2004 is your answer.
Top Play (WPA): With a runner on first and no outs in the tenth, Anthony Rizzo singled to right to bump up the Cubs’ win probability by 22.5 percent.
Bottom Play (WPA): Willson Contreras grounded into a double play in the ninth, which took 19 percent off the win probability.
Lead photo courtesy Benny Sieu—USA Today Sports