Cubs’ Second Consecutive Walk-Off Victory against Cardinals
If Monday’s game was a nail-biter, it couldn’t get any more dramatic than Tuesday’s emotional roller coaster ride at Wrigley Field. It was mild weather with not much wind. Jeff Samardzija pitched brilliantly in 6 2/3 innings with nine strikeouts. The Cubs led 1-0 until the top of the 8th inning when Carlos Marmol walked Rafael Furcal and gave up a two run blast by Matt Holiday, giving the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. Many Cardinals fans began to leave, thinking they had won.
Cubs fans were heartbroken until first baseman Bryan LaHair hit a game-tying home run off Marc Rzepcynski in the 9th, bringing the score to 2-2. The game went into ten innings and the final at-bats were full of tension. In the bottom of the 10th, Tony Campana singled and proceeded to steal second base. He was ruled safe by the umpire, but Cardinals manager Mike Matheny argued the call so vehemently that he was ejected from the game to roars of approval from the Wrigley faithful. Cardinals’ pitcher Fernando Salas intentionally walked Bryan LaHair. With Campana at second, Alfonso Soriano was down to three balls and two strikes with two outs. Soriano hit the game-winning walk-off single, and Campana scored easily. The cheers in the stands were deafening as the fans came to life again. The winning pitcher was James Russell and Salas took the loss.
Soriano made two outstanding catches in the top of the 8th that could have been costly had they been hits. In celebration of his driving in the winning run, his teammates dumped the icy water in the Gatorade cooler over his head during an interview. The Cubs had three runs, ten hits and one error. The Cardinals had two runs, six hits and two errors. “Go Cubs Go” never sounded so sweet!