At 1:34 in the morning, Cubs win! | Bleader

At 1:34 in the morning, Cubs win!

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Note the clock. Thats AM--this morning. The Cubs had just beaten the Rockies.
The two worst teams in the National League squared off at Wrigley Field last night, and for nearly six-and-a-half hours, both clubs warded off victory. Finally, in the 16th inning, Cubs backup catcher John Baker scored on a sacrifice fly to give the north-siders a 4-3 triumph. The winning pitcher was backup catcher Baker.

The game started at 7:07 yesterday evening and ended at 1:34 this morning. At six hours, 27 minutes, it was the longest game in Cubs history. The old record, six hours and ten minutes, was a 1982 game in which the Dodgers beat the Cubs in 21 innings.

The Cubs entered the game with a record of 43-61, in the basement of the NL Central; the Rockies were last in the West at 43-62. Colorado scored three in the first, then put up zeros the rest of the way. The Cubs tied the game in the fourth before settling into their own string of goose eggs.

In the top of the 16th, Cubs manager Rick Renteria had no more relievers available (except for Hector Rondon, who'd pitched in four of the last five games), which is why Baker got the call. Baker was well rested, having last pitched in 2000 in a collegiate summer league on Cape Cod. He was 19; now he's 33. Baker's fastball topped out in the high 70s, well below speed limit. But with the help of a sleepy Rockies lineup and a double play, he pitched a scoreless inning. Then he walked to start the winning rally, was sacrificed to second, got to third on a single by Anthony Rizzo, and raced home on Starlin Castro's fly to right.

John Baker crosses the plate with the winning run in the predawn hours.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no Cubs position player had won as a pitcher since 1902.

The two teams go at it again tonight at Wrigley. Baker told Renteria he's available.

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