Julio Borbon waited a long time to end Thursday's 6-5 victory for the Cubs over the Cincinnati Reds.
When he stroked a game-winning single to left in the bottom of the 14th, it ended the game after 5 hours and 7 minutes. Borbon had just entered the game as a pinch hitter, and he was the last available position player off the bench.
But there was a lot of waiting around.
"I was ready from probably the ninth inning on, probably even a little earlier," Borbon said. "I was just looking to get that opportunity to go up there and help in any way possible. It feels good.
"I probably went through stretching and staying loose and going back to the cold probably 3-4 times. I was able to stay with it."
Bad streak over:
Thursday's victory ended a 12-game losing streak to the Reds at Wrigley Field. It was the Cubs' longest streak of consecutive losses at home against one opponent in franchise history. Not many seemed aware of it, though.
"Not until we heard it on TV," said starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija. "We know what we're dealing with, with the Reds. They're a great team with a great bullpen, good starting pitching and a great lineup one through nine. You know you're in a fight with those guys, and you expect it every time they come in."
Let's have some fun:
Manager Dale Sveum said after Thursday's game he hopes the walk-off victory will propel the Cubs to better times. After Wednesday's loss, first baseman Anthony Rizzo said the team looked like it wasn't having any fun.
Part of Sveum's job is to keep chins up through tough times.
"Offensively, especially, you try to make guys understand these things are in cycles and they go in cycles," Sveum said. "You don't use these things as excuses, but we've faced some pretty good pitching lately and just grind out the at-bats, and all of a sudden, it starts coming. You do have to make an effort to do things like that as a manager.
"There's nobody right now that's stepping up and doing anything in any position of the lineup. Sometimes you get to the point where you just might want to pick the lineup out of a hat and see what happens."Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.