Last night was the second edition of the match at Field of Dreams in the MLB. Last year, we had the right to an exciting duel between the White Sox and the Yankees, and this year, it was the turn of the Cubs and the Reds to face each other. The caliber of the teams was lower than last year, to put it politely, but hey.
Before the meeting, we were treated to the voice of Vin Scully, recently deceased, who narrated one of the most famous scenes of the film. Very nice way to honor a man whose impact in the history of sport is titanic.
Then, unsurprisingly, we could see the players coming out of the cornfield. That said, the highlight was seeing Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. come off the field and, like in the movie, throw the ball at each other for a few minutes.
It may be predictable, but the scene is nonetheless magnificent.
Then, afterwards, we finally had the right to a match. The Cubs had the first turn at bat, and they quickly took over the game, scoring no less than three runs in the first inning.
Nick Lodolo was close to getting out of the inning by retiring the first three batters, but he escaped a shot that hit Patrick Wisdom (and which subsequently allowed the Cubs to start the machine).
In the third inning, the Cubs had a bit of a scare as Willson Contreras appeared to be injured, but in the end he was able to stay in the game.
And an inning later, the Illinois squad added a fourth run to the board, courtesy of a Nick Madrigal hit.
Meanwhile, Drew Smyly was intractable on the mound for the Cubs. In five innings of work, he allowed only four hits and had nine strikeouts. He did not award a point.
That said, Michael Rucker (who replaced him on the mound) had a little more trouble. Matt Reynolds hit a double at his expense to bring the two teams back to within two points.
Rucker, however, recovered afterwards before Brandon Hughes and Rowan Wick closed the door on ideas of a Reds comeback in the following innings.
In the end, then, it’s a 4-2 win for the Cubs.
Of course, the match Field of Dreams is a beautiful moment for MLB. The players appreciate it, as do the fans. On the other hand, the fact that the Red Sox and the Orioles were also playing a game at the same time was perhaps not a great marketing idea, if you ask me.
In short, a game a little less thrilling than last year (when Tim Anderson hit a game-winning home run late in the ninth inning), but overall, it was still a good time. Note also that the MLB will not return next year since there will be work on the site (and I confess that I do not particularly like the preview offered). Former Major League star Frank Thomas is one of the group of owners who decided to renovate the site.
- During the game, John Smoltz (who was in the analysis) revealed that his father died a few hours before the match, but he wanted to take part in the broadcast of the match to honor him. Our deepest condolences go out to the Smoltz family.
- Ray Liotta, who plays Shoeless Joe Jackson in the film Field of Dreamswas also honored. Remember that he passed away earlier this year.
- During the match, a hologram of the legendary Harry Caray sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
- For Joey Votto, yesterday’s game was a good time to reminisce about good times with his dad.
- A man named Buck Farmer pitched in a game that was being played in a cornfield. You can not make that up.