The Best of 2014: No. 4, Baker scores the game-winning run after pitching a scoreless 16th inning
(Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
Every baseball season is filled with memorable moments, and this year’s Cubs campaign was no exception. Cornerstone players had bounceback seasons, newer additions stepped up, and top prospects made their big league debuts. To wrap up the year, we asked you to pick your top 10 moments of 2014. From now until the end of the year, we’ll be unveiling one moment per day.
No. 10: Rizzo’s late-season walk-off homer
No. 9: Hendricks makes an easy transition to the bigs
No. 8: Castro, Rizzo named All-Stars
No. 7: Maddux gets inducted into the Hall of Fame
No. 6: Wrigley Field celebrates its 100th birthday
No. 5: Baez hits the eventual game-winning homer in ML debut
Catcher John Baker scores the game-winning run after pitching a scoreless 16th inning—July 29 vs. Colorado
After 16 innings against the Rockies and an exhausting six hours and 27 minutes—the longest game in franchise history—the Cubs were desperately in need of a spark. In total, 18 pitchers saw action in the marathon affair at Wrigley Field.
As the stalemate entered the 16th inning, then-manager Rick Renteria was out of bullpen options. Enter journeyman catcher John Baker, who despite not pitching since his days in the Cape Cod League, stepped out onto the mound to give the Cubs some relief. He got Charlie Culberson to pop up for the first out, but walked the second batter he faced, Drew Stubbs. Baker got out of the jam, however, by inducing a double play from Cristhian Adames and exited the mound with an excited fist pump. But he didn’t have much time to rest.
Offensively, Baker led off the bottom half of the frame with a walk and was bunted over to second before reaching third on a single. Starlin Castro lined out to right field, and the 33-year-old backstop beat the throw home to score the game-winning run.
“Any Chicagoan’s dream is to be standing at home plate with the remaining people at Wrigley Field chanting your name,” Baker said. “It’s something I’ll never forget.”