BOTTOM OF THE TENTH: CUBS 6 (3) – 5 BLUE JAYS
Your dad is on the couch. Sat there all afternoon. Took a nap through the middle innings. Day-dreaming of a sweep. Watched the Cubs score three runs, slept, then woke up to see them give up the lead. Tied up.
And then, in the top of the tenth. It’s Justin Wilson. “No!” your dad shouts. “Justin Wilson!?”
And the four-hour investment crashes into a wasted day. Anger. Pain. Grumbling. The Blue Jays take a two-run lead.
“It’s a sunk cost,” you remind him. “It’s the sunk-cost fallacy. Just quit now. They’re done. They’re done!” This game, this chance for a sweep—it’s done.
To start off, in the bottom of the tenth, a whole bunch of defensive switches for Toronto.
And a pitching change. Roberto Osuna comes in from the bullpen. Starting off the inning on a low note for the home crowd:
Kyle Schwarber strikes out (as he does).
And then, a moment later, the “But then” comes into play. The ball bounces off the dirt between Schwarber’s feet, off the catcher’s leg, skipping away off to the brick backstop.
Schwarber dashes off to first on the drop-third strike. Safe.
Kyle Schwarber is so good he can strike out and still get on base.
— Cubs Live (@Cubs_Live) August 20, 2017
And then, a batter later, the “But then” continues. Ben Zobrist turns on a fastball tucked on the inside edge—a single to right field with Schwarber going to third. The winning run now at the plate. Just one out. Anthony Rizzo up.
Osuna delivers, and another wild pitch.
Schwarber scores. Zobrist to second. 5-4 with the double-play chance now gone.
Jays blow, and I mean blow, wait a second!! Osuna blows one yet again! 2 Wild pitches, hits a batter and you leave him in!? Great job Coach
— juan augusto (@juanito1975) August 20, 2017
Rizzo grounds out to second, advancing Zobrist to third.
Javier Baez up. Works a full count. And then, the second out. He strikes out (as he does).
The ball squirts away, again—wild pitch number three. Baez glances back at it flying off toward the backstop, darts off to first, gets there safe without a throw. Zobrist stuck on third.
And so, Jason Heyward comes up. Double play will end the game. Single or sac fly will tie it. Two strikes. Looking like an out.
Another. Osuna gone wild, again. Heyward hit by the pitch—bases loaded. Cubs still down one.
Oh my. Wild pitch after wild pitch by Osuna
— Brian Madore (@bmadorevocm) August 20, 2017
And up next, Alex Avila. Gets set in the box. And on the second pitch he sees, Osuna gone un-wild for just a moment, a pitch over the plate. Aliva lines a sharp line drive onto the grass in right field.
Zobrist scores. Baez goes for third. Rounds it, coming home. Surging down the line. Leaps and slides in to the plate. Safe. Safe. Safe. Safe. Safe! Cubs win.
Sunk-cost depression snapped into a round of happy yelling.
Alex Avila, a giant bear-hug WELCOME TO CHICAGO pic.twitter.com/bnmhKUXFZe
— The Big Inning (@big_inning) August 20, 2017
August 20, at Wrigley. The day the Cubs swept Toronto. The day Roberto Osuna gone wild.
The day Alex Avila got his Windy City welcome.
The day the Cubs are officially back.