Cubs, Astros Split 2-Game Set

16317The Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros ended up with a split of their two-game series.

It took 19 innings to declare a winner, but Houston pulled it off.

At one stretch, each team had gotten 11 shutout innings pitched by their bullpen.

Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the 4th when Gary Matthews walked, moved to third on a Leon Durham single and then scored as Keith Moreland grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

Houston went up 3-1 in the bottom of the 6th when Craig Reynolds singled, Phil Garner walked, and Jerry Mumphrey singled a run in with one out.

That was it for Chicago starter Steve Trout.

George Frazier came in and allowed a two out, two-RBI double to light-hitting catcher Mark Bailey. Bailey is hitting just .170 on the season.

Nolan Ryan kept the lead going, working around a one-out triple by Ryne Sandberg in the 6th and stranding him there.

The Cubs came back in the 8th when Bob Dernier walked, stole second and then scored on an RBI single by Sandberg.

Sandberg then scored on a Matthews triple, tying the game up and giving Chicago the go-ahead run at 3rd with nobody out.

Dave Smith entered in relief, striking out Durham, retiring pinch-hitter Henry Cotto on a grounder to second with the infield in, and then striking out Ron Cey.

From then on, it was all bullpen.

Houston had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the 10th, loading the bases with one out. against Tim Stoddard.

Warren Brusstar was called upon by Chicago and he struck out Terry Puhl and retired Bailey on a grounder to second to escape the jam.

The ‘Stros were back at it in the 12th, as Garner led off reaching 3rd base on a three-base error by Matthews in left.

Lee Smith struck out Mumphrey, retired Harry Spilman on a fly out to right with a great diving catch coming in by Cotto, and then got Puhl on a liner to Durham at first.

In the bottom of the 14th, new Cubs reliever Dickie Noles walked a pair of runners and Larry Bowa made an error at short to load the bases with one out.

Bailey then grounded one hard to Noles, starting a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning.

Chicago got their best chance in the top of the 16th, loading the bases with two out before Houston reliever Frank DiPino retired Sandberg on a grounder to third.

Things finally wrapped up in the bottom of the 19th.

Reliever Rick Reuschel allowed a single to Mumphrey, who later scored on a two-out, walk-off single to Jim Pankovits, who had entered the game as part of a double switch in the 13th.

A wild game for what could possibly be the two teams soon playing in the National League Championship Series.

But we’ve still got a little ways to go before we figure that out.


2 responses to “Cubs, Astros Split 2-Game Set

  1. Jim Pankovitz!


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