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Cubs fall to Rockies in 13th in Wild Card Game

Cubs fall to Rockies in 13th in Wild Card Game



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CHICAGO — The Cubs called on starters Cole Hamels and Kyle Hendricks to back up Jon Lester, but they couldn’t stop the Rockies, who apparently don’t need much sleep.

Playing their third game in as many days in their third different time zone, the Rockies edged the Cubs, 2-1, in 13 innings on Tuesday night to win a drama-filled National League Wild Card Game at Wrigley Field. Next stop for the Rockies is Miller Park, just 90 miles north, where they’ll face the Brewers in the NL Division Series, starting Thursday.


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CHICAGO — The Cubs called on starters Cole Hamels and Kyle Hendricks to back up Jon Lester, but they couldn’t stop the Rockies, who apparently don’t need much sleep.

Playing their third game in as many days in their third different time zone, the Rockies edged the Cubs, 2-1, in 13 innings on Tuesday night to win a drama-filled National League Wild Card Game at Wrigley Field. Next stop for the Rockies is Miller Park, just 90 miles north, where they’ll face the Brewers in the NL Division Series, starting Thursday.


View Full Game Coverage

:: NL Wild Card Game schedule and results ::

With two outs in the 13th — yes, the 13th — Trevor Story singled off Hendricks and reached third on Gerardo Parra‘s single before scoring on Tony Wolters‘ single. Wolters, by the way, was the third catcher the Rockies used in the game.

The Cubs needed a burst of speed from Terrance Gore, a miraculous recovery by Pedro Strop and a hug by Javier Baez to stay close, but it wasn’t enough.

First, take a deep breath. The Cubs had 48 come-from-behind wins in the regular season. They couldn’t get one more.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon called on Hamels and Hendricks rather than his relief corps to try to shut down the Rockies. Hamels escaped a bases-loaded jam in the 11th.

How crazy was this game? Anthony Rizzo was lifted for Gore in the eighth and joined the crowd of 40,151 as a spectator.

The Cubs, denied a chance to three-peat as NL Central champs by the Brewers on Monday in Game 163, have to wonder what the heck happened to their offense. In the first half of the season, the Cubs led the NL with 476 runs but totaled 285 since the All-Star break, which ranked eighth in the league.

Rockies starter Kyle Freeland, who was working on short rest for the first time since college, got a nice assist from Story, who snared Daniel Murphy‘s line drive for the second out of the seventh when the Cubs had a runner at first.

Video: NL WC: Story lays out to make tremendous diving grab

The Cubs did load the bases in the seventh, taking advantage of a catcher’s interference call against Drew Butera, but Adam Ottavino struck out pinch-hitter Jason Heyward to end the inning.

In the eighth, the Cubs called on their secret weapon, speedster Gore. With two outs, Rizzo singled and was lifted for Gore, who quickly stole second base. Baez then lined a double to center to drive in Gore and tie the game at 1.

Strop, pitching for the first time since Sept. 13, after missing time with a strained left hamstring, struck out Ian Desmond to end the Rockies’ ninth and strand a runner at second. The Rockies went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Video: NL WC: Strop strikes out Desmond to end top of 9th

Jon Lester was the Cubs’ choice to start the elimination game. There was some symmetry. The veteran made his first postseason start in the decisive Game 4 of the 2007 World Series against the Rockies and won. This was his 22nd postseason start.

Video: NL WC: Lester fans 9 in 1-run outing vs. the Rockies

This was the Cubs’ second Wild Card Game since Maddon took over in 2015, but that year, Jake Arrieta threw a shutout against the Pirates.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.





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