Craig Kimbrel was making his third appearance as a member of the Chicago White Sox on Friday in a game against the team that traded him to the South Side last week. Kimbrel entered the game against his former team with a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the 8th. The Cubs didn't let him enjoy his return.
Kimbrel opened the inning by allowing a single to Matt Duffy. He followed that up by getting Ian Happ to fly out to left, but Frank Schwindel added a one-out single to center that moved Duffy to second. Greg Deichmann followed with a pop out to short and it looked as if Kimbrel would avoid the damage. Andrew Romine had other plans.
Kimbrel fell behind Romine 2-0, but a foul ball and a swinging strike on a 96 mph fastball evened the count. The eight-time All-Star closer then missed badly with another heater, putting the count at 3-2. He opted for a fastball again, this time low and in and Romine did this:
That wasn't even a strike and Romine still launched it into the bleachers. Amazing. The Cubs trotted out a hilarious lineup on Friday and yet somehow they're matching the vaunted White Sox, and managed to make the incredible dominant Kimbrel blink.
Perhaps most stunning of all is this fact from The Athletic's Keith Law:
Yes, those three runs are more than Kimbrel had allowed all season. He entered the contest with an absurd ERA of 0.47, and a WHIP of 0.67. He'd been perfect in two outings for the White Sox entering Friday, having allowed no hits or walks in two innings while striking out two. He hadn't allowed an earned run since May 15, when he blew a save against the Detroit Tigers.
Who could have predicted that a rag-tag Cubs lineup would be the group to break through against Kimbrel? Gotta love baseball.