I've been to a ton of games, but nothing came close to the atmosphere at Wrigley Field on Saturday night.
We got to the ballpark very early to avoid the crowds and traffic. There was a 2½ hour ride from home to Chinatown, and then a ride on the Red Line to the Addison station. BeCause we got there so early, we had time to walk around the neighborhood and have a beer and a burger at a Wrigleyville establishment, Yakzies. We also took a couple laps around Wrigley. It's my first time there since all the renovations began. The work done so far looks great. I really like the new front entrance. Its too bad that they need metal detectors, which really take away from the old-time Wrigley vibe.
The gates opened two hours before game time and we were right there when they were rolled up.
This is a view from our seats when we first got there. We had a nice look at everything and the post didn't make much difference.
By 7:00 p.m. the park had filled. I do mean filled. The railing along the ramps was filled with standing room people. And then it was game time.
I've never stood up so much at a ballgame. We were up and down more than at church this morning. We were up for strikeouts, for hits, for runs, for great defensive plays...for just about everything.
Jon Lester was good but not great. He had control issues and was hit hard, but had the Cubs flashing some serious leather behind him. Giving up just one run in six innings was a more than acceptable outcome.
The first two Cubs hitters of the game had hits and already the Cubs had the lead. Two more Javier Baez runs in the second gave the Cubs a lead that they held through the eighth inning.
The bullpen gave up two runs in the eighth as the Dodgers tied the game. You could feel the nervousness in the stands as everyone started thinking about the lead getting away.
Miguel Montero had different thoughts. His two-out pinch hit grand slam in the bottom of the eighth caused Wrigley to erupt into absolute pandemonium. 42,000 people, including yours truly, were screaming at the top of their lungs. What a feeling. And we got to do in again when Dexter Fowler launched the next pitch. I'm typing this 24 hours later and my voice has still not returned to normal. I hope I'll have it back for school tomorrow.
Hector Rondon made things interesting, but even Hector wouldn't blow a four run lead. We stood for most of the top of the ninth and then let out one last roar when the game ended on a double play. Nobody left early, and all 42,000 gleefully sang Go Cubs Go!
I am so thankful for the chance to experience a post-season game at Wrigley. It was all I could have imagined and more.