The 2013 Cubs were not a very good team. This, you surely know. Nevertheless, they had a handful of shining moments and this is one of them.
This game was the last of a four-game series against the Reds, and the Cubs had lost the first three. Thus entering this game against the Reds, who were the defending N.L. Central champions, they were in last place in the division and 16 games behind the division-leading Cardinals.
Nevertheless, 28,986 paid to see the Cubs and Reds on a nice Thursday afternoon in June.
Jeff Samardzija started for the Cubs and Mat Latos got the call for the Reds. Cincinnati went up 5-3 going to the bottom of the sixth, looking like they might sweep the Cubs out of this series.
But Nate Schierholtz tripled with one out in the bottom of the sixth and scored on a ground out by Luis Valbuena to make it 5-4.
And in the bottom of the eighth, the Cubs tied the game when they loaded the bases on a single by Alfonso Soriano, walk by Schierholtz, and single by Valbuena. Darwin Barney singled in Soriano to make it 5-5.
Enjoying this little romp through some names you had probably forgotten? Just wait, dear reader, there will be more.
Kevin Gregg set the Reds down in order in the ninth. Starlin Castro doubled with one out in the bottom of the inning and Anthony Rizzo was intentionally walked. Winning run in scoring position with one out! But Soriano struck out and Schierholtz hit a line drive to short, and the game went to extras.
The Cubs used Carlos Marmol (one inning), Blake Parker (two) and Hector Rondon (two) to set down the Reds without scoring from the 10th through the 14th. But after the Cubs again had the winning run on second with one out in the 10th, Reds relievers set down the next 11 Cubs in order.
It was well past 6 p.m. when Castro led off the bottom of the 14th inning with a single. Rizzo struck out, but Castro stole second to yet again put the winning run in scoring position with one out. Soriano grounded out with Castro taking third, and an intentional walk was given to Schierholtz. (Sounds odd, but Nate Schierholtz was actually a somewhat effective hitter for the 2013 Cubs, batting .251/.301/.470 with 21 home runs.)
That brought up Julio Borbon, the last man on the Cubs bench, pinch-hitting for Rondon. Borbon had been acquired on waivers from the Rangers in April and entered that game with pretty bad Cubs numbers: .212/.281/.289 (11-for-52) with 11 strikeouts.
He took Jonathan Broxton’s first pitch for ball one and then this happened:
Excitement! It was one of just three walkoff wins for the Cubs in 2013 and at five hours, seven minutes, it now stands as the 11th-longest game in Wrigley Field history by time.
As for Borbon, he played another few weeks for the Cubs before he was designated for assignment August 3 — the day they added Donnie Murphy to the roster. Murphy started his Cubs tenure with a tremendous hot streak, batting .328/.381/.810 (19-for-58) with eight home runs in his first 16 games as a Cub. It did not help the team much, as they went 4-12 in those 16 games.
Borbon cleared waivers and remained in the Cubs organization at Triple-A Iowa, but the Orioles then selected him in the Rule 5 Draft in December 2013. He surfaced for six games with Baltimore in 2016, and was still playing indy ball as recently as 2018.
And he had his one shining moment in a Chicago Cubs uniform. It happened 10 years ago today, Thursday, June 13, 2013.