Teagarden beats Chapman for game-winning hit
CINCINNATI -- On Tuesday night, Taylor Teagarden was called on as a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded in the 11th inning. He struck out to end the threat.
On Wednesday, he was called on in a similar situation, and this time he came through with a game-winning single. Facing arguably baseball's best closer in Reds lefty Aroldis Chapman, Teagarden sent a 101-mph fastball back up the middle to score Anthony Rizzo from third base and complete the Cubs' 6-5 come-from-behind victory in a doubleheader nightcap.
"He gets blown away by a 99-mph fastball elevated and all of a sudden he takes one 100 and hits it back up the middle," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "Please someone explain that to me. I can't. That's what makes this game so wonderful and why you talk about never quitting."
Teagarden's game-winning single was the first run scored off Chapman since June 8, snapping a streak of 14 straight scoreless innings. Chapman also threw his first career intentional walk during the inning, a decision Reds manager Bryan Price defended after the game.
"The whole thing was that it wasn't so much that it was [Jorge] Soler, although Soler is a more established big league hitter than Teagarden," Price said. "It was the fact that we had to get through the pitcher's spot in what we hoped would be a tie game at the end of the inning. It would have forced them to have to make another move, get another pitcher in the game and burn their last position player. We just needed to get him out, and it didn't happen."
Teagarden entered the game hitting only .154 in six games since he was called up from Triple-A Iowa on July 4. It was his second RBI of the season.
"Every win is huge," Teagarden said. "Started the first half right there in the hunt, and we realize what's at stake here in the second half. Everyone is in it for the same reason. We are here every night to win the game, and it seems like you get different contributors every night.
"The season is a grind at this point. We are about to get to dog days. It's going to get hot and everyone is going to be gunning for playoff spots, so it's nice to just kind of end the trip in this manner."