Making history has become a routine practice for the Chicago Cubs this season, and on Tuesday night they struck again in a 15-inning thriller against the Cincinnati Reds.
Not only did the game feature six different players (including three pitchers) play left field, but it also saw a blown save, a five-run 15th inning, and some dominant pitching by Jon Lester as the Cubs beat the Reds 7-2 in extras.
The win itself was historic, as the Cubs won their 50th game of the season in just their 76th contest. The victory means that the Cubs have gotten to 50 wins faster than they have in nearly a century, when they started out the 1918 season with a 50-20-1 record. In that season, the Cubs ended up reaching the World Series, but they ultimately lost to the Boston Red Sox in that Fall Classic.
That five-run 15th inning also came with some history attached as well. Javier Baez socked his first career grand slam in that inning, but even more impressive is the fact that it is the latest grand slam that a Cubs player has ever hit in a game. The previous record was a grand slam in the 14th inning by Cliff Johnson in May of 1980.
To cap off the history making evening, the Cubs’ strategy of using three different pitchers to play left field is something that hasn’t happened in over a century. According to the Cubs’ gameday notes, the last time that the team used three pitchers to play defense in the same game was in 1904, when Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, Bob Wicker, and Frank Corridon all did so.