As to be expected in a 15-inning game that involves Joe Maddon, there was some utter ridiculousness. Let's take a look at some of it.
Actually, for a while this was a pretty normal, well-pitched game.
Ben Zobrist led off with a home run, but after that the only run until the eighth inning was an RBI single. Of course, that RBI belonged to Jon Lester, who started his career with a historic stretch of not getting a hit.
Still, Lester had a shutout going through 7 1/3 innings with a 2-0 lead and seemed in total control. He then allowed a solo home run to Billy Hamilton. On a team with Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Adam Duvall and several other hitters with capable power, Hamilton hit his 13th career home run in over 13,000 plate appearances.
Next up, Anthony Rizzo ended the eighth with this beauty:
Just a quick glance at the catch itself doesn't really do justice to the degree of difficulty on that play. Rizzo covered a ton of ground while navigating the tarp and still kept enough focus on the ball to make the grab with his glove falling into the stands. That's as tough as it'll ever get for a first baseman.
Then again, Rizzo did this last season:
Maybe he just likes areas close to the tarp.
Moving on, though, the Reds would get a game-tying single from Eugenio Suarez in the bottom of the ninth with two outs.
From then until the 15th inning, neither team would score.
In fact, the Cubs wouldn't get a hit for eight innings off the Reds' bullpen, which has been historically bad.
Meanwhile, Cubs manager Maddon employed Travis Wood in the outfield as part of a double switch, as he had run out of position players.
Then things got even more crazy. Maddon would use righty reliever Spencer Patton to get righty Brandon Phillips out to lead off the bottom of the 14th. Maddon would then move Patton to the outfield and bring Wood in to pitch to the left-handed Jay Bruce. After Bruce grounded out, Maddon flipped Patton and Wood again, and Patton retired Adam Duvall to end the inning.
In the top of the 15th, the Cubs would rally. Zobrist walked. Jason Heyward singled. Kris Bryant singled in the go-ahead run. The Reds elected to walk Anthony Rizzo to load the bases with the pitcher spot on deck. The Cubs would pinch hit starting pitcher Jason Hammel, who hit it hard, but Joey Votto made a great stop and miraculous throw to get Heyward at home (MLB.com has the video).
Crazy, crazy game. One that lasted almost five hours. I didn't even cover some also-great parts.
Love you, baseball.