CHICAGO — It took 6 hours and 5 minutes, a record-setting number of strikeouts, more than 500 pitches from 15 pitchers, and a daring catch by Kyle Schwarber jerseys before the Cubs and Yankees settled matters Sunday night. Actually, it was early Monday morning when Aaron Hicks scored the game-winning run in the 18th inning, giving wholesale jerseys New York a 5-4 win and a series sweep.
There will likely be a few bleary-eyed folks at work Monday after this one. With the game tied at 4 in the 18th, Hicks reached second after his bunt single and a throwing error by catcher Willson Contreras. Hicks moved up on Ronald Torreyes’ sacrifice against Pedro Strop, and then scored on Starlin Castro’s fielder’s choice. Castro hit the ball to shortstop Addison Russell, who threw home, but not in time to get Hicks.
Schwarber made the catch of the game for the second out of the 12th when he raced 116 feet, then dived over the wall along the left-field foul line and into the stands to grab Chase Headley’s foul pop fly for the second out. As the inning ended, Schwarber was bear-hugged by teammates.
he Cubs forced extra innings when they scored three runs in the ninth against their former closer, Aroldis Chapman, who had given up one earned run over 11 1/3 innings this season but blew his first save situation since rejoining the Yankees.
New York led, 4-1, in the ninth when Chapman entered, and he walked Russell and served up a single to Jon Jay. One out later, Albert Almora Jr. and Javier Baez each hit RBI singles before Chapman struck out Schwarber. Kris Bryant jersey was intentionally walked to load the bases, and then Chapman hit Anthony Rizzo jersey on the left forearm to force in the tying run. Tyler Clippard replaced Chapman and got Ben Zobrist on a groundout to send the game to extras.
The two teams combined for a Major League-record 48 strikeouts, topping the previous high of 43 was set in a 20-inning game between the Angels and A’s on July 9, 1971. The previous Wrigley Field high was 37, set May 31, 2003, between the Cubs and Astros.
This was a pitchers’ duel for seven innings between Luis Severino and Chicago’s Jon Lester, both of whom struck out nine. Lester, making his 30th career start against the Yankees, threw 120 pitches, the most since he threw 122 while with the A’s on Aug. 7, 2014, against the Twins. Severino limited the Cubs to four hits and one run, on Baez’s game-tying homer in the third inning.
The game was still tied at 1 in the seventh when Castro reached base on a throwing error by Bryant. Then rookie Aaron Judge tripled off Lester to put the Yankees back on top. An inning later, Jacoby Ellsbury launched a two-run home run off Justin Grimmto provide the three-run lead New York took into the ninth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Yanks get started early: The Yankees tested Lester in the first. Ellsbury singled to lead off, but Contreras picked him off at first. Lester then walked Hicks and Matt Holliday singled. Both advanced on a double steal, and Hicks tallied on Castro’s groundout to go ahead, 1-0. The Cubs now have given up 39 earned runs in the first inning in 31 games.
Bye-bye Baez: It looked as if Baez might have to leave the game when he fouled a ball off the top of his left foot with two outs in the third. But he stayed in, and launched a 2-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers to tie the game at 1. Hicks never saw the ball, looking lost as he stood in left with his arms raised. It did go high into the night. According to Statcast™, the home run had an exit velocity of 104.5 mph and a launch angle of 39 degrees. It registered a max height of 143 feet. Baez’s home run tied Rizzo’s blast on April 26 for the highest launch angle for the Cubs this year.
Yankees: The Yankees travel to Cincinnati and will open a two-game Interleague series with the Reds on Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Masahiro Tanaka (4-1, 4.46 ERA) will try for his fifth straight win against Rookie Davis (1-1, 7.36), a former Yankees farmhand who was dealt to Cincinnati in the 2015 Aroldis Chapman trade.
Cubs: Jake Arrieta will open the Cubs’ three-game series in Denver on Monday night. The right-hander has posted three straight quality starts and is 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three career starts vs. the Rockies. First pitch is scheduled for 7:40 CT.