CHICAGO — As Chicago Cubs outfielder Chris Coghlan dug in for a full-count, two-out, bases-loaded pitch from St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez, he was concerned that Martinez would try to quick-pitch him.
So Coghlan raised his hand and asked the home-plate umpire for time.
When he did not hear a response, Coghlan stepped back from the plate and turned around. Once again, silence.
Then Coghlan realized Martinez was delivering a pitch.
“The only thing that popped into my head was I’m not going to go down taking,” Coghlan said.
So Coghlan hastily rearranged his feet in the batter’s box, put both hands back on his bat and raised it above his left shoulder. He swung the bat like an ax and lashed Martinez’s pitch into right field for a single, tying a game that the Cubs went on to win in 11 innings on Thursday night.
There seems to be little that’s thrown at the Cubs these days that they cannot handle. They have the best record in the major leagues, they are running away with the National League Central race, and they carried an 11-game winning streak — the Cubs’ longest in 15 years — into Saturday’s game, a streak that ended with a loss to the Cardinals, 8-4.