A Comeback for the Ages

By: Mcnameefan1

Setting the Scene:

It was a rainy day, calling for a rain daily for up to an hour at beautiful Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Luckily for the Cubs fans attending the game such as myself, the game began only twenty minutes behind schedule. A scheduled 1:20 start, and it began at exactly 1:42 pm (central time).

Ted Lilly was set to take the hill for the Chicago Cubs, entering the game with a 5-4 record, with an E.R.A of 5.23. Aaron Cook was scheduled to start for the Rockies, beginning the game with a 7-3 record with an E.R.A of 2.82. The events that followed on this game day could not have been predicted by even the most intelligent of baseball writers or experts. Here is the lineup for the Chicago Cubs for the day:

1. Alfonso Soriano, LF

2. Mike Fontenot, 2B

3. Derrek Lee, 1B

4. Geovany Soto, C

5. Kosuke Fukudome, RF

6. Jim Edmonds, CF

7. Mark Derosa, 3B

8. Ronny Cedeno, SS

9. Ted Lilly, P

And here is the lineup for the Colorado Rockies:

1. Willy Taveras, CF

2. Jonathon Herrera, 2B

3. Ryan Spilborghs, LF

4. Garret Atkins, 3B

5. Todd Helton, 1B

6. Chris Iannetta, C

7. Jeff Baker, RF

8. Omar Quintanilla, SS

9. Aaron Cook, P

Now I will take it inning by inning, I will not go into detail for the most part, but I will give a brief summary of each inning.

Top 1st inning: Ted Lilly allows 2 base runners with two outs, and there are runners on the corners. Into the plate steps First Basemen, Todd Helton. The pitch, Helton with a little help from the famous Chicago winds jacks a three run homer to give the Rockies an early 3-0 lead in the Top of the 1st. A few base hits including a double, another run comes across and it is 4-0 at the end of the Top of the 1st. They bat 8 men.

Bottom 1st inning: Cubs do absolutely nothing as they fail to score, and trail 4-0 at the end of one.

Top 2nd inning: The Rockies fail to hit Lilly this time, as they do not extend the lead.

Bottom 2nd inning: Cubs fail to get anything started against Aaron Cook, and the score remains 4-0 after 2 innings.

Top 3rd inning: Lilly continues to struggle with keeping the ball down, which is something pitchers cannot afford to do in the Wrigley conditions. In the third, Lilly makes his pitches to retire two batters without damage, but fails to get out of the inning scoreless. A Chris Iannetta Two Run Home Run scores Garret Atkins as well, Rockies lead 6-0. Things only got worse for a Cubs fan in this inning, as an Omar Quintanilla single scores Jeff Baker making the score 7-0. After the top of the third, it is Rockies 7, Cubs 0.

Bottom 3rd inning: Cubs fail to do anything as they continue to discourage Cubs fans, as they go three up three down. Score remains Rockies 7, Cubs 0.

Top 4th inning: Jon Lieber comes in to relieve the struggling Ted Lilly, and quickly retires two batters. But the runs keep coming for the Rockies as a solo shot by Ryan Spilborghs makes it 8-0 Rockies, also making it that the Rockies first 8 runs come with two outs in the inning.

Bottom 4th inning: Signs improve for the cubs as Derrek Lee leads off with a single, followed by a Geovany Soto fly out. A Kosuke Fukudome single put runners on first and second with only 1 out. Jim Edmonds then stepped in with another single, and the bases were full of Cubs with 1 out. Mark Derosa then steps in and delivers the Cubs their first run. A Ronny Cedeno groundout ended the inning, after 4 it is Rockies 8, Cubs 1.

Top 5th inning: The Cubs pitching continues to get quick outs as the first two batters of the 5th are retired, but the trend continues. A Jeff Baker double followed by an Omar Quintanilla single makes it 9-1 Rockies, as they have all of their runs with two outs. Aaron Cook pops out to end the inning.

Bottom 5th inning: Jon Lieber leads off the inning with a strikeout, followed by an Alfonso Soriano single and a Mike Fontenot HBP, and there is hope as Cubs slugger Derrek Lee steps up to the plate. But, Derrek Lee cannot come through as he grounds into an inning ending double play, and the score remains Rockies 9, Cubs 1.

Top 6th inning: The Cubs pitching does improve after Henry Blanco replaces Geovany Soto at Catcher, and Micah Hoffpauir replaces Derrek Lee at 1st base. Lieber gets the first guy out, but a 1 out triple for Jonathon Herrera worries the Cubs even more, as the Rockies look to score another run. But a groundout to third base and then to the pitcher ends the threat, score remains Rockies 9, Cubs 1.

Bottom 6th inning: Cubs rookie sensation Micah Hoffpauir continues his hot streak with a leadoff ground rule double into right field, and hope is coming back to the Cubs fans. Following the Hoffpauir double, Kosuke Fukudome goes yard, making the score 9-3, and giving the Cubs fans something to cheer for finally. This home run is followed by Jim Edmonds' first home run as a Chicago Cubs, making the score 9-4. Three straight outs ended the inning, but the Cubs score three making a game out of what was once an 8-0 game. Rockies 9, Cubs 4.

Top 7th inning: Cubs again continue to easily get the first two guys of the inning, but fail to go three up three down as a deep double by Jeff Baker gives the Rockies a chance at some insurance. Left Hander Scott Eyre then came in to relieve Jon Lieber, and did his job by getting Omar Quintanilla looking on strikes.

Bottom 7th inning: This was the inning to be remembered whether you are a Cubs fan or not. Down 9-4, the Cubs fans had much hope as they usually do no matter what the score, and the positive vibes paid off. After an Alfonso Soriano lineout to Shortstop, there was quickly one out. That did not seem to matter for the Cubs as Mike Fontenot reached first base with a one out single. This followed by a Henry Blanco home run puts the Cubs within three. At this moment, as you could imagine, the Cubs fans exploded, making a noise unknown to man as the stadium wrung with echoing screams and cheers, so much that it gave me a headache. Following this crazy home run, Micah Hoffpauir bats and gets himself a single into the deep outfield. Cook was struggling, so manager Clint Hurdle brought in reliever Manny Corpas to finish off the inning. He did not do so. After a Kosuke Fukudome single, a sensation I had never heard before struck Wrigley Field, and believe me, I have been to many Cubs games before. A shot to the gap by the struggling Jim Edmonds knocks in both Hoffpauir from second and the speedy Kosuke Fukudome from first, and all the sudden, it was 9-8. Jim Edmonds now stood on second base with one out, and the Cubs were within one after being down 9-1 in the 6th. Believe me, it was absolutely crazy. Even two young looking businessmen in there work shirts went insane as the cubs had the chance at a lead. With die hard Cubs fan Bobby Hull in the booth after the 7th inning stretch, Mark Derosa delivers one of the most clutch home runs I have ever seen in person! A deep fly ball to left center field that would have been caught on another day, but the famous winds of Wrigley carried it to the bleachers once again, and the Cubs lead 10-9 after being down 9-1 just an inning before. This was the most exciting atmosphere I had ever been in at anything, and my dad agreed who is 45. The crowd erupted with such a ringing sensation that hurt, yet it was music to my ears. After an inning that only a team of destiny would have, the Cubs led 10-9!

Top 8th: Carlos Marmol comes in to relief the 8th inning and try to hold the Rockies, and does so. Pinch Hitters Scott Podsednik and Seth Smith both go down on strikes looking, as Marmol utilized his nasty cut-slider. For a third straight batter, Marmol looked nearly untouchable as he struck out Jonathon Herrera looking, striking out the side and maintaining a 10-9 lead.

Bottom 8th: A quick inning here for the Rockies as the only hit is a Henry Blanco two out single, but it does not score anyone as the score remains 10-9 heading into the top of the ninth.

Top 9th: The top of the ninth of this game may have been the most nail biting, nerve wracking inning I have ever seen. For those of you that don't know, Kerry Wood has been as inconsistent as can be for a closer, next to Eric Gagne of course, and as he usually does, he walked the leadoff batter, something that has been an Omen for the Cubs closer all year. The next batter Garret Atkins got up in the count 3-0, but some clutch pitching by Kerry Wood may have saved the day, as he got Atkins to ground out to second basemen Mike Fontenot who makes a great play scooping the ball off the ground, turning a double play. It was know up to Todd Helton as the roars of over 39,500 screaming Cubs fans erupt, Helton flies out to Right Fielder Kosuke Fukudome to cap off the most exciting comeback seen in years. As the ball is caught the crowd erupts into cheers and screams as the Cubs pull off one of the most improbable comebacks in years, and the Cubs PA announcer turns on the Cubs theme song, "Go Cubs Go", and the entire stadium sings along in the greatest atmosphere at a sports game ever heard of.

Recap: So the Cubs go from down 9-1 to up 10-9 in one of the most exciting games ever played for the Cubs, and one of the most depressing games for a Rockies fan ever. Absolute shock filled with joy filled the stadium as the Cubs pulled it off, and have been the talk of the town on Chicago local sports stations for the entire day. For a 10-9 game, the game time was extremely short, actually only lasting 2 hours and 30 minutes after a 20 minute rain delay.

What is so special about this you may ask yourself?

Well, if you are a Cubs fan, every aspect of it. If you followed the Cubs last year at all, you would know that no one would ever dream of the Cubs coming back like this last year. Plus the fact that their starter gave up 7 runs in three innings, and they managed to win the game. This also shows that the Chicago Cubs know how to win, and they believe that every game is a win-able one, and this could be the game that will be known as "The Turn-Around Game" for the next decade. You heard it here first from a first hand witness to the incredible comeback that is the Chicago Cubs.

Winning Pitcher: Scott Eyre, Chicago Cubs

Losing Pitcher: Manny Corpas, Colorado Rockies

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