Wrigley Field ground rule quirk almost costs Rockies a run vs. Cubs

A quirky ground rule unique to Wrigley Field cost <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/players/8949/" data-ylk="slk:DJ LeMahieu">DJ LeMahieu</a> an RBI in the first inning of the Rockies-Cubs Wild Card game. (Getty)
A quirky ground rule unique to Wrigley Field cost DJ LeMahieu an RBI in the first inning of the Rockies-Cubs Wild Card game. (Getty)

The Colorado Rockies struck first in Tuesday’s wild card game against the Chicago Cubs.

But the confines and rules of Wrigley did their best to protect the home team in the process.

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Cubs pitcher Jon Lester issued a lead-off walk to Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon. Second baseman DJ LeMahieu took the batter’s box next and roped a Lester fastball to left center field that made its way to the wall.

Wrigley Field ivy strikes first in Wild Card game

Blackmon got a good lead and looked in position to score from first base. But when the ball reached the outfield wall, it got stuck. The Wrigley field ivy ate it up and Kris Bryant, playing left field, immediately put his hands up and looked toward the umpires in the infield.

The ball was ruled a ground-ruled double in a baseball quirk unique to Wrigley Field. If the ball had bounced out, it would have been live. But it did not. Bryant, knowing his home field rule, used it to his advantage rather than attempt a play on the ball.

Blackmon stopped at third base

Blackmon was forced to stop at third base. No Rockies run, despite protest from Colorado manager Bud Black that Blackmon was on his way to score.

Controversy was avoided when third baseman Nolan Arenado scored Blackmon on the next pitch with a sacrifice fly to give Colorado a 1-0 lead.

Rockies with the grounds crew advice

Despite the eventual run, the Rockies still had a suggestion for the Wrigley Field grounds crew.

With stakes this high in a win-or-go-home game, every detail — and every run — counts.

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