Monday night the Cubs walked off the Reds at Wrigley Field. There was already a bit of an edge in the air with the trade deadline looming and the Cubs looking to sell any players they can to retool for their next championship run. Midway though the game news broke that fan favorite Andrew Chafin would be heading to Oakland, but let’s be honest the edge wasn’t because of The Sheriff (although he was pretty cool). The edge is the aura that every at bat taken by Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo or Javier Báez could be their last in a Cubs uniform. It wasn’t exactly a game that was begging for more drama.
It got a lot more drama.
Reds reliever Heath Hembree came into the game to try and keep it a five to five tie in the ninth inning. He was unsuccessful, first walking Patrick Wisdom (who apparently can also play left field?) and then surrendering this long fly ball to David Bote — admit it, we all thought it was out:
However, Hembree continued to struggle. He walked Ian Happ and then loaded the bases by hitting Nico Hoerner. Reds Manager David Bell had seen enough and decided to go to the bullpen:
And that’s how the 29,215 fans who were in attendance at Monday night’s game found themselves unexpectedly in the highest drama situation possible. Round three of Reds reliever Amir Garrett against one of the most beloved 2016 Cubs and his nemesis: El Mago.
Admit it, you want to see the whole sequence again [VIDEO].
Let’s take a closer look at one of the most dramatic walkoff wins I’ve seen this side of October, or as I like to call it: Javy v. Garrett III: The Walkoff.
You will certainly recall that these two men do not like each other. It began with this benches clearing incident after Garrett chirped a bit too much at Javy after striking him out:
Javy was not amused:
...and the benches promptly cleared:
Some people let bygones be bygones, but it doesn’t really appear that Garrett is one of those people. Fast forward to earlier this season when he decided to chirp at Anthony Rizzo a bit too much for Javy’s liking:
We all remember how that wound up:
There was absolutely no way this at bat was going to end without some kind of fireworks. Javy was letting Garrett hear his mind before the pitch was thrown:
So the Reds have a five-man infield, the Cubs have the bases loaded and two men who definitely aren’t sending each other Christmas cards are about to face off:
Garrett tries to compose himself before the pitch:
The Cubs dugout loves it, and as an aside I looked exactly like Jake Marisnick in this picture. Except I was on the edge of my couch:
The fans are all also on the edge of their seats — just look at all those phones:
Javy hits it:
This is a classic Javy swing and he powers it over the two outfielders to drive in Patrick Wisdom. As an aside, why were these guys so shallow? That seems like a mistake:
Javy begins a slow walk towards first that you just know is eating up Amir Garrett, but that is only the beginning:
There are celebrations and there are celebrations. There are bat flips and there are BAT FLIPS. Javy seemed pretty keenly aware he was in post-bat flip territory and he intended to make the most of it:
First, he invents a new move I call the “Stir the Pot” warning.
Then he throws the bat away from him and does a double fist pump before deciding his shirt and hat are literally not cool enough for this moment:
Wisdom is absolutely lit up as he hits the plate and so are the rest of the Cubs:
Amir Garrett is very offended by Javy’s bat (Reds fans have been claiming it was “thrown at” Garrett. I have not seen an angle that confirms that):
The umpire attempts to calm Amir down:
As an aside, it will always be amusing that there is only one pitch in the score bug as this is going on. Javy was certainly aware of that:
There is so much joy from so many of my favorite Cubs in this picture:
Javy knows exactly what he’s just accomplished, and he relishes it, Gladiator style:
I imagine we could be in for a wild one tonight as the series continues.