A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Rockies Win National League Wild Card Game 2-1

After one of their best regular seasons, with a record of 91 wins and 72 losses, the Colorado Rockies took on the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in the wild card game for the National League, winning 2-1 after a long 13 innings. Prior to this, the Rockies lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers with a score of 5-2, and in turn, lost the National League West Title and their guaranteed spot in the playoffs of the World Series. By winning this game, they now move on to face off against the Milwaukee Brewers in the playoffs for their third ever division series appearance.

Before the game, managers from both teams emphasized the importance of scoring first in the wild card game. Later on, in the top of the first inning, the Rockies lead the game 1-0 after Nolan Arenado hit a sacrifice fly to center field allowing Charlie Blackmon to score.

Not much action was happening in the following innings due to the strong performance from the starting pitchers from both teams, Jon Lester for the Cubs, and Colorado native Kyle Freeland for the Rockies. Kyle Freeland alone had prevented 11 runners in a row from making it to a base.  

During the bottom of the sixth, with one out, Donald Dahl, left fielder for the Rockies, made an error allowing a runner to make it to scoring position. The Rockies recovered however, following the error with a double play ending the inning.

In the bottom of the eighth, a pinch runner, Terrance Gore, stole second base placing himself in scoring position. Javier Baez then powered the ball to the left allowing Terrance Gore to score tying the game at 1-1.

Fans were nervous as the ninth inning began. But both teams experienced no luck and the game went into extra innings after no scores were made.

The game then went on for two more innings before one of the most curious incidents of the night occurred. During the bottom of the 11th inning, a ball was hit to third baseman Nolan Arenado who then went to tag the runner Javier Baez. After tagging Baez, Arenado found himself in a full embrace. It is unclear whether Baez hugged Arenado to prevent him from making a double play or if it was just a friendly action.

By the thirteenth inning, the Cubs and Rockies were still tied 1-1 in what is now the longest postseason winner take all game in the history of the MLB. In the top of the inning, Trevor Story of the Rockies was able to make it into scoring position. With two outs, Tony Wolters was at bat and hit the ball allowing Trevor Story to score. The Rockies now led the Cubs 2-1. In the bottom of the thirteenth inning, three batters struck out giving the Rockies the win.