Terrance Gore almost kept the Cubs alive in the 2018 MLB playoffs
The Chicago Cubs were eliminated in the 2018 National League Wild Card Game by the Colorado Rockies. The game took approximately 28 innings and seven hours, which means there’s plenty to discuss. Do you want to talk about the Denver kid, Kyle Freeland? Yeah, that seems like a great idea. What about the spunky pluck of Tony Wolters? Sure. If you want to get dark, we can talk about the Cubs and the opportunities they squandered all game, if not all year. Why were they even in the Wild Card Game in the first place?
It’s all compelling. It was a tremendous baseball game and another argument in favor of the single-game elimination format of the wild card.
For my money, though, nothing beats the story of the pinch-runner who came into the game in the eighth inning.
Terrance Gore was the hero until he was a goat until he was a footnote. The Cubs had the bright idea of adding a mega-pinch-runner to their postseason roster, and it looked like it would be the smartest move anyone would make this October. Entire Yes albums have been made out of subjects less exotic and thrilling as Gore’s dash around the bases. He immediately stole second with two outs in the eighth inning, and then he scored the tying run on a single. It was so damned pure.
And then he had to swing a bat.
This was in the 13th inning. Because he had replaced Anthony Rizzo, who can actually hit.
Do not make fun of the Cubs for trying this, though. It was beautiful until it wasn’t. The biggest problem was that the Cubs scored one (1) run in an elimination game, and there aren’t enough narratives in the world to gloss over that. Picking apart individual performances and decisions seems silly when the collective performance looked like something the 2013 Cubs would barf up on the back end of a doubleheader.
But it was Gore who was the most compelling story for a few seconds, an asteroid burning up on reentry. He had appeared in eight career postseason games before tonight, and his team had won all eight. When a team put him in, it was like they were playing a Magic: The Gathering card that allowed them to take the other player’s wallet. With a pinch-running appearance and a stolen base, Gore was the reason the Cubs tied the game. For a moment, he felt like the reason they were going to win it all.
By Grant Brisbee @GrantBrisbee Oct 3, 2018