Cubs clinching playoff spot nearly derailed by Steve Bartman-like incident
The Chicago Cubs clinched a spot in the postseason courtesy of Wednesday’s victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. There were some tense moments, however, that likely had Cubs fans experiencing traumatic flashbacks to the notorious Steve Bartman incident.
The play in question occurred with one on and one out in the ninth inning. Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli flared a foul pop-up that drifted toward the netting on the first-base side of the field. Anthony Rizzo attempted to snag the ball — and was in position to do so — but a Cubs fan reached out and snatched it. Sound oddly familiar?
Steve Bartman pt. 2??? pic.twitter.com/nd0iQ6nL5e
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) September 27, 2018
The play ignited a late rally by the Pirates, who knotted the game up at six apiece.
Paranoid mentions of Bartman — who of course unwittingly stumbled into Cubs’ infamy way back in 2003 — instantly began blowing up on Twitter.
Somewhere, Steve Bartman just changed his name back to Steve Bartman. #ThisIsMyCrew #Yelich4MVP https://t.co/7jZN2AxG0L
— KB (@OnAirKB) September 27, 2018
If the Cubs lose this game, that guy will be the new Steve Bartman.
— jav believes (@javybaez09) September 27, 2018
Thankfully for the interfering fan — and the collective psyche of Cubs backers — the home team prevailed, winning 7-6 in the 10th inning courtesy of an Albert Almora Jr. walkoff.
AND STILL in first place. #Walkoff pic.twitter.com/qQT2FF7FkO
— MLB (@MLB) September 27, 2018
The gravity of the situation in Wednesday night’s nail biting and postseason-clinching victory of course paled in comparison to what played out with Bartman during the 2003 NLCS. Still, for Cubs fans, what occurred must have inspired the bitterest of memories.
All that said, the Cubs will continue to battle the Milwaukee Brewers — who also punched their ticket for the postseason Wednesday night — for the NC Central title. The Cubs currently occupy the top spot in the division by the slim margin of 1/2 a game.