Strop was under consideration to return for the win-or-go-home game against the Colorado Rockies after missing the past two weeks.
After the Rockies strung together three two-out singles in the 13th inning against Kyle Hendricks and took the lead, the Cubs called on former Royal Jorge De La Rosa, who got the final out to end the inning. "This is something we really believe we can sustain".
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On paper, the National League wild-card game doesn't seem that memorable, that momentous. We just got a little bit challenged offensively at the end of the year; obviously that hurt us.
Gore was running for Anthony Rizzo, whose two-out single had kept the inning alive.
The Cubs - who finished fourth in the NL in runs despite being held to one or zero in 39 regular-season games, one fewer than Baltimore for most in the majors - managed just four hits in 6 2/3 innings against Freeland. Daniel Murphy was intentionally walked and Baez got tagged out by Arenado on Willson Contreras' grounder to third.
Gore instead faced a 3-2 count and struck out, and so did Baez and Almora, ending the game. The 34-year-old won two World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2007 and 2013 as the ace of their staff and also has experienced plenty of early exits.