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Cubs' belief growing after third walk-off win

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- What did it take for the Cubs to rally against the Mets and take a 2-1 win Wednesday night at Wrigley Field?

"Confidence," pitcher Jason Hammel said. "Everybody exudes confidence right now. Somebody will get it done, and I think that's what everybody believes."

Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- What did it take for the Cubs to rally against the Mets and take a 2-1 win Wednesday night at Wrigley Field?

"Confidence," pitcher Jason Hammel said. "Everybody exudes confidence right now. Somebody will get it done, and I think that's what everybody believes."

Full Game Coverage

They didn't believe last year. The Cubs were 0-79 when trailing in the ninth last season. But this is a new year, with new players and a new attitude.

"We're a totally different team from last year," Chris Coghlan said.

The Cubs had tied Wednesday's game at 1 in the eighth on an RBI single by Dexter Fowler, driving in rookie Addison Russell, who singled with one out. In the ninth, Anthony Rizzo singled and was lifted for pinch-runner Matt Szczur, who reached third on Starlin Castro's base hit.

"You could trust Starlin to move the baseball," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "He's going to put the ball on the ground often. You don't want it to be a double play. I didn't want to bunt there, because they're not going to pitch to [Miguel] Montero anyway, which they chose not to, which was also an option. You're trying to not take the bat out of Montero's hands with the runner on second base and one out."

The Mets did intentionally walk Montero to load the bases. Jeurys Familia did strike out rookie Jorge Soler, but Coghlan drew the walk-off RBI walk. The victory was the Cubs' third walk-off win, and marked the sixth time they've won in their last at-bat.

"In those situations, you have to really control your emotions, because you want to be the guy," Coghlan said. "Everybody wants to be the guy to drive in the winning run. He didn't give me anything to hit, so I took my walk."

It's tough to get players to be patient.

"Some guys just want to get hits, and they don't understand the importance of accepting your walks," Maddon said. "It's probably easier for me to teach a guy to not strike out than it is to accept a walk."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

 

Chicago Cubs, Chris Coghlan