CINCINNATI -- The Cubs played three different pitchers in left field in their 15-inning, 7-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday. Two of them, lefty Travis Wood and righty Spencer Patton, alternated pitching and playing left in the 14th inning before Wood pitched the 15th while setup man Pedro Strop played left field.
"We were down to almost nothing," manager Joe Maddon said after using 22 of the 25 players on his roster. "Travis, my God, what an athlete. ... Travis made everything possible. He may have had his best stuff all year."
Wood wasn't supposed to pitch after he threw in Monday's game, but once Hector Rondon blew a ninth-inning save opportunity, it was "all hands on deck," according to the manager.
"With Travis, you treat him like a position player," Maddon said. "I had no concerns about that."
"I was ready to come up and hose him [throw him out]," Wood said with a laugh. "I don't know if we would have executed, but I would have given it a try."
Wood got to bat in the top of the 14th before going back out to left field in the bottom of the inning while Maddon called upon Patton to pitch. After Patton got an out, he replaced Wood in left field and Wood took the mound to get Jay Bruce out on a ground ball. Patton then came back in from left to get the final out of the 14th.
"It was a lot of fun," Wood said. "I would have liked to record an out [in the outfield]. Showcase my talents out there. Get me a couple of starts."
The Cubs scored five runs in the 15th inning on an RBI single by Kris Bryant and a grand slam by Javier Baez. It was the latest grand slam ever hit in a game by a Cub and the latest in baseball since 1996, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Wood came back on to pitch the 15th inning with Strop playing left field, after Patton was pinch hit for by another pitcher, starter Jason Hammel.
"A fly ball to Strop would have been the fitting conclusion," Maddon said.
"I play outfield when we play softball in the winter," Strop said. "I can do it. I would have pimped the final out if it came to me."
Maddon said he had never used three pitchers in the outfield in a single game and was shaking his head trying to remember all the decision-making that went on to pull this game off.
"It was the Travis Wood show" is how he summed it up.
The crazy victory earned the Cubs their 50th win of the season and made them the first NL team to reach that plateau.
"We used a pitcher in left field for the last three innings, right?" Wood asked. "You don't get to see that a lot. It made it fun and interesting, and we pulled off the victory."