Craig Kimbrel was unsure why his teammates came out of the dugout just after wrapping up a 4-0 win for the Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night.
The closest to Chicago went to the mound for the bottom of the ninth inning just thinking he was about to hold onto the lead. He never bothered to look at the scorecards showing a zero in the home team’s hit column.
And that’s why Kimbrel was super cool after taking Will Smith out on strikes for the final in a no-hitting combination. Then he heard from his friends.
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“I’m not going to lie, I had no idea until the last outing and everyone ran out,” Kimbrel said with a smile to Marquee Sports Network in an interview on the field. “I was just locked in the game and was going to do my job.”
He said he started to tie the knot when wide receiver Willson Contreras delivered a punch.
“That was the gift. I was like, ‘Dude, something just happened,’ he said.“ (Ryan) Tepera walked out. He said, ‘You don’t even know what just happened, do you?’ And I was like, ‘I have no idea.’ “
Tepera pitched a clean seventh inning, relieving starter Zach Davies, who scored the top six. Andrew Chafin threw the eighth.
It seems impossible that the Cubs’ pen hadn’t informed Kimbrel before leaving for the mound, but Chafin told reporters no one had a clue because they couldn’t see the column of their blows. location beyond the right field. Wall.
And then there’s the baseball tradition that the dugout doesn’t talk to a pitcher who’s throwing a no-no, lest the conversation ruin him. In the cases of Chafin and Kimbrel, they did not hear from anyone on the ground.
Chafin started chatting with the coaches in the clubhouse after finishing his outing and seeing what was going on on TV. And then he got worried when he encountered silence.
“Oh damn, I might’ve messed it up for us,” he recalls thinking, by Russell Dorsey of the Chicago Tribune. “But it worked.”