Chicago Cubs: An in-person reflection of last season’s NLDS clincher

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: And you thought you were safe?

With nearly all of the energy drained from their home crowd, the game appeared to be over for Washington. The desperation was evident as a Nats fan seated behind me (who had been screaming “We don’t respect you Rizzo!” all game) began insisting that Pedro Strop‘s quick-pitches were all balks, despite the fact nobody was on base. But this game of strange twists only became more unpredictable.

After replacing Strop in the bottom of the sixth, Mike Montgomery gave up a double to Bryce Harper and walk Ryan Zimmerman, throwing a wild pitch that allowed Werth (who was on third) to score. Murphy then doubled in Harper, and suddenly the tying run was in scoring position. I almost had to laugh. Three runs had already been scored by way of a passed ball or wild pitch, why not another way to help the Nats claw back into the game?

Montgomery somehow escaped and Kyle Schwarber led off the seventh with one of the loudest singles I’ve ever seen, a screaming liner off the right field wall that seemed destined to leave the yard. Somehow, it stayed in the park. Schwarber later scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Kris Bryant, putting the Cubs back up by three runs. But still, the Nats were far from finished.