Cubs-Brewers Set For National League Tiebreaker

Dave Roberts

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Outstanding pitching performances, big defensive plays, extra innings, a controversial hug, and a few clutch hits.

There is no rest for the tired as the Chicago Cubs host the Colorado Rockies in the 2018 National League Wild Card Game at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.

In an epic win-or-go-home game, the Cubs exited to the offseason. The Rockies started Chris Iannetta at catcher, then put backup Drew Butera in the game in the seventh inning.

Freeland, the Rockies' quiet ace, dominated for 6 ²/₃ innings on three days' rest. It was a big spot, too: runners on the corners and two outs, with yet another chance to drive in the Rockies' first run in nearly five hours. Only one team experienced futility more frequently - the Orioles, with 40. The victor will advance to the NLDS to face the Brewers. And the Cubs have certainly won their share of elimination games the past four seasons. On cue, Gore, the fastest man in Chicago - sorry, Tarik Cohen - stole second base to put himself in position for Baez to bring him home quicker than you could say did-you-see-that? Arenado, who again had one game remaining, led the league with 37.

"Excited about it", manager Bud Black said.

Kyle Freeland and Jon Lester are very similar pitchers with one major difference. Though he hasn't faced opposing hitters in a few weeks, the right-hander has a 1.96 career postseason ERA in 21 appearances and should provide Joe Maddon some stability in the later innings. It was Lester's 22. They had six hits Tuesday night.

The Cubs needed a Javy miracle on a night nothing else worked against Rockies starter Kyle Freeland.

Ian Desmond warms up before Tuesday's game a Wrigley Field.

The Rockies are in the Wild Card game for the second consecutive year after losing to Arizona last season, while the Cubs last played in the Wild Card game in 2015, beating Pittsburgh. The Chicago Cubs belong in the playoffs with 95 victories and a run differential of +116.

Before the game, Baez sounded the alarm.

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