Good night and good morning from Wrigley
OK, it's 2:05 a.m. and I'm typing at Wrigley Field. We'll get up later and flesh it all out, but the Cubs just beat the Rockies 4-3 in 16 innings for the longest game in Cubs history in terms of time. The game took 6 hours and 27 minutes to play. The winning run scored when Starlin Castro drove in John Baker on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly.
The winning pitcher was Baker, a backup catcher who worked the top of the 16th inning because the bullpen was taxed to begin with. Baker joked that he had to shake off fellow catcher Welington Castillo because they weren't on the same page.
"It's really cool," Baker said. "To get a chance to do this, I was having trouble not smiling on the mound. I think about a lot of guys I played with who were pitchers who were good and never got a chance to pitch in the big leagues. My hat's off to all those guys, who were grinding for so long and never got a chance to pitch. It is something I'll definitely cherish for a long time."
Baker joked that he is available to pitch again Wednesday night. On a more serious note, Cubs manager Rick Renteria said it's likely at least one pitcher will come up from the minor leagues to bolster the pen.
Starting pitcher Edwin Jackson did not help things -- again -- as he lasted just 4 innings, throwing 105 pitches. After Jackson, the Cubs went with Carlos Villanueva, Wesley Wright, Justin Grimm, Brian Schlitter, Blake Parker, James Russell, Pedro Strop and Baker. They stayed away from Hector Rondon, who pitched the previous two days, as did Strop.
The previous longest game in Cubs history by time was 6 hours, 10 minutes on Aug. 17-18, 1982 against the Dodgers. That game went 21 innings. This game also was the longest in Rockies history.
For a first major-league win, pitchers usually get a beer shower by their teammates in the clubhouse.
"I got beer, chocolate milk, I got hair gel, I got shampoo, I got body wash and I got some more beer," Baker said. "Best shower I've ever taken."
And with that, good night and good morning.