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It was a game for the ages.
With a two-game winning streak on the line, the Cubs took the field on Wednesday outfitted in the uniforms of their forebear Chicago Federals to commemorate the 100th birthday of the ol' ballpark. The woeful Arizona Diamondbacks dressed as the Kansas City Packers, who took this very field on April 23, 1914.
And who could forget the rivalry that began when starting Packers pitcher George "Chief" Johnson "was removed after two innings when served with an injunction from his former team, the Cincinnati Reds."
The Packerbacks were out to spoil the party.
The Cuberals were out to fulfill their destiny.
"Pedro Strop entered in the top of the ninth with the Cubs up 5-2," Troy Machir writes for the Sporting News.
"He walked the first batter he faced, before an error allowed [ex-Cub] Tony Campana to reach base. He then walked another batter before striking out Gerardo Parra. Martin Prado then singled, scoring Chris Owning and Campana, making the score 5-4.
"Then things got really bizarre.
"After striking out Paul Goldschmidt, Strop was pulled in favor of James Russell, who came in to face Miguel Montero. The Diamondbacks catcher singled to right field on a play in which the baseball bounced off of second base, allowing another run to score. Russell was then pulled in favor of Justin Grimm, who promptly gave up a double to Aaron Hill, who turned it into a triple when outfielder Justin Ruggiano took a bad route and injured his leg trying to make a difficult play. The result of the gaffe was two more runs for the Diamondbacks, making the score 7-5.
"When it was all said and done, the Diamondbacks scored five runs on three hits, while the Cubs committed one error, two walks and lost a player to an injury in half an inning."
And this kid became the new face of the franchise:
Steve Bartman, your job here is done.
"That was a weird inning," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said, like every Cubs manager before him. "I've never seen a ball hit the corner of the bag on a ground ball. That's a first for me."
"According to the win probability chart at baseball-reference.com, the Cubs had a 97% probability of winning when the top of the ninth inning started with the Cubs holding onto a 5-2 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks."
The Cubs should never have a 97% probability of winning, least of all on the 100th anniversary of Wrigley. That's the problem with sabermetrics - it fails to take the metaphysics of the universe into account.
"For Wrigley Field's 100th birthday, baseball's schedule makers could have included one of the National League's most senior franchises - the Cincinnati Reds, or the Giants, once of New York and now from San Francisco - to play the Cubs. But they settled on the Arizona Diamondbacks, an expansion team in 1998.
"Still, the choice proved sage for a stadium that has never housed a World Series winner: When the Cubs and the Diamondbacks met Wednesday, they had the two worst records in the National League."
I could not hate the #Cubs any more than I do right now. 3 walks. 2 misplayed fly balls and one huge error. And that, folks, is just the 9th— Lin Brehmer (@LinBrehmer) April 23, 2014
Jeff Samardzija is the only pitcher in the last 100 yrs to go 7+ IP and allow 2 ER or fewer in his 1st 5 GS of a season and not earn a win— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) April 23, 2014
In a switch, Jeff Samardzija now demanding a must-trade contract. #Cubs— Beachwood Reporter (@BeachwoodReport) April 24, 2014
Too many Cubs jokes. Reference overload. Circuits on fire. #meltdown— Barry Rozner (@BarryRozner) April 23, 2014
It's All Part Of Theo's Plan; Every Loss Happens For A Reason. #Cubs— Beachwood Reporter (@BeachwoodReport) April 23, 2014
Carlos Zambrano on today's #Cubs game: "They still stinks."— Beachwood Reporter (@BeachwoodReport) April 23, 2014
Look on the bright side--It's Day 1 of a new century at Wrigley Field. #Cubs— Dan Cahill (@dancahill_cst) April 24, 2014
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