Anyone who’s read Bleed Cubbie Blue for the last few years knows I love player celebrations. I love bat flips. I like pitchers strutting around the mound. I love player personality and antics.
But I have a confession to make, because I am very much not that girl in my own life.
I coached nationally competitive debate for the better part of two decades, and anyone who has ever seen me at a debate tournament on elimination day knows that I do not celebrate early. Win your break round, move onto doubles. Win that, and focus on octofinals. People would congratulate me on huge wins in the quarterfinals and I’d reply “we’re not done yet” because there are still semifinals and finals to go.
I might love fourth-inning celebrations in baseball games, but I am the girl who is stone-faced before the job is done in my own life.
And so it was, that I found myself watching two of my favorite players on the Chicago Cubs react to an honestly incredible play in exactly the way I would react on elimination day of a debate tournament.
This is the most emotionless grand slam robbery of all time.— Sara Sanchez (@BCB_Sara) July 26, 2023
Seiya: "yo, just robbed a grand slam"
Kyle: "cool, bro, thanks" pic.twitter.com/xVz79pzHJG
Kyle Hendricks was dealing until he wasn’t. He was perfect through four innings and I admit I was starting to wonder if he was going to do a thing and if I was a fool for not heading down to the South Side to watch this Hendricks start in person.
The perfecto bid ended when Hendricks gave up a double to start the fifth and by the bottom of the seventh, he was in a jam. A single followed by a ground rule double and a walk had the bases loaded quickly. I’ve seen enough Cubs v. White Sox games to know that a six run lead in that circumstance wasn’t safe. Kyle was also struggling. Some hard contact. An uncharacteristic walk. I admit I was getting nervous.
Yoán Moncada smoked a ball to right field that was gone. It was a grand slam. By all rights the game should have been 7-5 with no outs seventh inning. Seiya Suzuki had other ideas and ran his best route of the season, leapt high and pulled back three runs turning a grand slam into a sacrifice fly ball in the most casual of ways. Admit it, you want to see it again [VIDEO].
Let’s break it down — I’ll be using a collection of shots from both broadcasts so you can see all the best bits of this incredible play.
This pitch is right where Yan Gomes wants it. It’s right where Kyle Hendricks wants it. Unfortunately, it’s also right where Moncada wants it:
Seiya does not miss this ball, either:
The reactions across the city for both fanbases were epic:
Honestly, it’s a stunning play:
But Seiya still has work to do, and is stone-faced as he’s like “that’s one:”
Kyle Hendricks agrees:
Don’t worry, they celebrated after the inning — after the work was done:
The Cubs still have quite a bit of winning to do to force Jed Hoyer to cancel his third annual fire sale at the trade deadline, but on Tuesday night Seiya Suzuki ran the best route of his time in a Cubs uniform to ensure they’d live to fight another day.