Minasian: The year in baseball hug(s)

From Isabelle Minasian at The Hardball Times on February 20, 2019:

The 2018 National League Wild Card game between the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies was a record-breaker, clocking in at a winner-take-all game record 13 innings and lasting a Wrigley-Field-best four hours and 55 minutes. For most, that will be its defining point of remembrance. But in the bottom of the 11th, something even more outlandish occurred.

With the game tied 1-1, and runners on first and second, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras grounded out to Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. Arenado fielded the ball cleanly and, spotting Javier Baez  sprinting from second to third, went to tag the Cubs’ shortstop. Báez, meanwhile, froze within inches of Arenado and stutter-stepped, as if to leap backward. Arenado leapt forward, glove outstretched, as Báez’s arms spread wide. Take away the high-stakes playoffs, the tens of thousands of fans in the stands, and it could have been two boys playing tag. “Come and get me!” Báez seemed to say.

But it was not a game of tag. For one of the men, it would be the last game of the 2018 season, and the contest was already two innings past its usual end point. The fans at Wrigley Field were thunderously impatient, and tensions were high.

Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/the-year-in-hugs/

Originally published: February 22, 2019. Last Updated: February 22, 2019.