CHICAGO — Tony Wolters waited and waited as the NL wild-card d went abysmal into Tuesday night. He continued a brace of times and approved to amount out aback he ability get a adventitious to play.
When that befalling arrived, he was ready.
Wolters hit a tiebreaking distinct with two outs in the 13th inning and the Colorado Rockies outlasted the Chicago Cubs 2-1 at Wrigley Field in the longest win-or-go-home postseason d in above alliance history.
“Probably the better hit I’ve anytime had, that’s for sure,” he said.
The 26-year-old Wolters, claimed off waivers from Cleveland in 2016, entered as allotment of a bifold about-face in the basal of the 12th. The assets catcher came up with runners at the corners and collection in Trevor Story with a liner aback up the average off accident bullpen Kyle Hendricks, abatement the army of 40,151 on a brittle abatement night.
After arena its third big d over three canicule in three altered cities, Colorado now active to Milwaukee to accessible a best-of-five Division Series adjoin the NL Central best Brewers on Thursday at Miller Park.
“We didn’t accomplish it accessible on ourselves, that’s for sure,” Story said, “but we’re activity to adore this one tonight and we’re absolutely not done.”
Scott Oberg, the sixth Colorado pitcher, fanned Kris Bryant for the final out of the 12th and again addled out the ancillary in the 13th to end the longest postseason d at 104-year-old Wrigley Field. Terrance Gore approved to advertise that he was hit by a pitch, but was beatific aback to the bowl afterwards a epitomize analysis accepted the antecedent call.
After Albert Almora Jr. addled out accepted for the final out, Wolters ran out and affective Oberg. They were anon aing by the blow of the aflame Rockies in a antic amethyst mob a the mound.
“You’re consistently wondering, ‘How’s this activity to end?’ But our guys fought all night and to be able to get that aftermost out there was great,” Oberg said.
Wolters got his aboriginal hit aback Sept. 10 in his playoff debut, and it was aloof the additional postseason d for Oberg. Previously, the longest winner-take-all amateur in the postseason were 12-inning diplomacy in the 2014 AL wild-card annular and Bold 7 of the 1924 World Series.
This one had appealing abundant everything, too. Hendricks was the third starting bullpen acclimated by the Cubs, afterwards Jon Lester formed six solid innings and Cole Hamels was apprenticed into activity afterwards the teams were angry at 1 through nine. Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado exchanged a memorable hug with Javier Baez afterwards he tagged the agitable Cubs brilliant in the 11th.
Colorado confused on to the Division Series for the aboriginal time aback 2009. The Rockies absent to Arizona in the NL wild-card d a year ago.
“Such a crazy game,” Story said.
The Cubs fabricated it to the NLCS in anniversary of the antecedent three seasons, acceptable the 2016 World Series to breach a 108-year drought, but they were bedeviled by an inconsistent breach all division long. Chicago accomplished with six hits and larboard 10 runners on abject afterwards managing alone three hits in Monday’s 3-1 home accident to the Brewers in the NL Central tiebreaker.
“Yeah, we played that d a lot,” administrator Joe Maddon said. “Believe me, it was on my apperception for a ample allotment of it.”
This time, it was Kyle Freeland canoeing through Maddon’s lineup.
Starting on three days’ blow for the aboriginal time in the pros, Freeland addled out six in 6 2/3 scoreless innings. The Denver built-in looked absolutely adequate in his aboriginal career playoff appearance, allowance his hometown aggregation animation aback from Monday’s NL West tiebreaker accident to the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
Lester helped Chicago stick about by analogous a career playoff aerial with nine strikeouts in his 26th postseason appearance. But he took a little while to achieve into the game, and the Rockies took advantage.
Charlie Blackmon led off with a five-pitch walk. DJ LeMahieu followed with a ground-rule bifold on a 3-2 angle — with the brawl accepting ashore in the acclaimed ivy in left-center — and Arenado’s cede fly collection in Blackmon.
Lester again bound the accident by arresting out Story and Matt Holliday with LeMahieu on third.
That one run looked as if it ability authority up as Freeland cruised into the seventh. Afterwards Story beggared Daniel Murphy of a hit with a diving grab at ambush in the seventh, administrator Bud Black replaced Freeland with Adam Ottavino.
Chicago loaded the bases with two outs, accepting some advice aback Drew Butera was alleged for catcher’s interference, but Ottavino addled out pinch-hitter Jason Heyward to end the inning.
The Cubs got addition adventitious aback Anthony Rizzo singled with two outs in the eighth, and Maddon went for it. He ran for his brilliant aboriginal baseman with accelerated Terrance Gore, who promptly swiped second.
Ottavino had an 0-2 calculation on Baez aback his third angle got too abundant of the plate. The free-swinging slugger collection it into the gap in left-center for a attached double, calmly scoring Gore from additional and sending a allegation through the crowd.
Hitters had been 0 for 36 adjoin Ottavino with an 0-2 calculation this year.
By Jay Cohen, AP sports writer
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