Things hadn’t necessarily been going great for Chris Coghlan Thursday evening. He had walked with one out in the 5th and then barely made it to third base when he tried to tag up on David Ross’s double off the wall in left center. Then Cogs was tagged out by Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez when tried to score on Jon Lester’s bunt. The whole mess led to me dubbing him Cogblan.
It wasn’t so much the running on contact and getting tagged that got me as it was tagging on the deep fly ball. Sure, you want to have a man in scoring position, but are you really counting on Lester to knock in that run with two outs? If Cogs goes halfway, he scores easily. If it had been caught, he goes back to first base and no big deal. Enough of that talk, though, let’s get to the fun part.
As is so often the case in baseball — at least it seems that way to me — the goat got a chance to redeem himself in short order. With the bases loaded and two out in the 6th, Cogs worked a full count against Martinez. Feeling the pitcher was moving too slowly, Coghlan stepped back, looked at home plat umpire Ron Kulpa, and raised his left hand to call time. It was too late, though, as Martinez was already windings.
Coghlan had no choice but to dance a quick jitterbug and offer at the pitch, which he somehow slapped to right to plate two runs.
The Cubs would go on to score a third run to take the lead, but the Cardinals came back to tie it in the 7th on a home run by, who else, the recently recalled Randal Grichuk. Matt Carpenter then singled to chase Travis Wood and bring Joe Smith into the game. Stephen Piscotty then laced the first pitch he saw into the gap in left center to give the Cardinals the lead.
Oh my, what a play. I know the relay was pretty much perfect, but did Carpenter stop for some Buona Beef after rounding third or what? I mean, it wasn’t even close. And that tag…
Atta boy Cogs. Russell made a great throw to nail the runner and Granpa Rossy slapped the tag to Carpenter’s grape in a play that was reminiscent of one the Cubs put together to catch the Marlins’ Derek Dietrich last week. Man, these guys can play some defense.
And to add the cherry on top, the Cubs sealed the win on a walk-off walk when Anthony Rizzo stoically took a pitch that probably would have been a strike to a guy not standing on the plate. What a crazy, fun, maddening, nerve-wracking, streak-lengthening, baker’s dozen division-lead-producing game.