Extreme frustration as Cubs lose in 13 to Arizona, WC lead down to half game

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This was a strange night for Cody Bellinger, and extreme frustration for the Cubs.

In the fourth inning at Arizona on Saturday, Bellinger circled the bases on an apparent 2-run homer in the fourth, but it was ruled a foul ball after review.

In the 10th, the Cubs’ best hitter appeared to be hit by a pitch, but was called out instead. The umpires decided the pitch hit the knob of Bellinger’s bat, then bounced toward the pitcher, who caught it on the fly. Video review didn’t change the call and Bellinger showed his bruised hand to the umpires to no avail.

Can’t really complain about the home run, since it clearly sailed to the wrong side of the foul pole. But a hit batter ruling in the 10th would have made a difference, and only Bellinger knows for sure if he was struck in the hand.

A long, tense game finally ended in the 13th inning with the Diamondbacks scoring a pair of two-out runs to beat the Cubs 7-6.

One strike away from victory, Arizona’s Emmanuel Rivera hit a liner that bounced off Hayden Wesneski’s back and just in front of Dansby Swanson for a game-tying infield hit. Gabriel Moreno followed by sending an 0-2 pitch into right field. A good throw would have nailed runner Evan Longoria at the plate, but Seiya Suzuki’s throw was off the mark and Yan Gomes’ diving tag attempt missed the mark.

The Cubs’ lead in the wild-card race dipped to a half-game over both the Diamondbacks and Reds. They’ve gone 2-7 in their last nine games.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

Extra innings was crazy. The Cubs had plenty of action in the 10th and 12th, but scored just a single run. They couldn’t cross the plate in the 12th because Arizona third baseman Geraldo Perdomo made a nice diving stop on Miguel Amaya’s would-be double, then Yan Gomes was retired on a 404-foot fly out to center.

But Drew Smyly kept the Cubs alive. After the Diamondbacks loaded the bases with one out, Smyly got a strikeout and grounder to second to end the inning.

The Cubs scored in the 11th on an RBI single by Hoerner, then the Diamondbacks got a single run against Drew Smyly to tie it.

The Cubs had a nice start in the first extra frame, with Christopher Morel reaching on an infield single. Then automatic runner Hoerner stole third and scored when the ball got away, with Morel coasting into third base.

After Bellinger was ruled out on the disputable call, Morel was erased in a rundown on a bouncer to the pitcher. Suzuki and Pete Crow-Armstrong walked to load the bases, but the Cubs could only get a single run.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

Marcus Stroman took the mound in the bottom of the 10th, pitching for the second straight day after returning from the injured list. He gave up a game-tying single on his third pitch, but was able to send the game to the 11th.

The biggest issue is the Cubs’ inability to score runs against mediocre starting pitchers continued. As has been the case in every game of this road trip, Davies started the night with an elevated ERA of 6.81.

The former Cubs right-hander did change up his pitch mix for this game. Over the course of the season, Davies has led with the sinker, then used his changeup 26% of the time. On Saturday, Davis threw just 6 change-ups all night and went with the fastball on 43% of his pitches.

Since Bellinger’s near home run did not count, the Cubs did no damage until the fifth inning when Gomes led off with a double, Nick Madrigal followed with an infield hit and Happ walked. At that point, Davies left the mound and reliever Luis Frias walked Nico Hoerner to force in a run. A second run scored on a double play, then Bellinger’s RBI single made it 3-2. Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks gave up the tying run in the sixth.

The Cubs’ short-handed bullpen got a little shorter Saturday as Michael Fulmer went back on the injured list with a right forearm strain. Daniel Palencia was recalled from Triple A Iowa, just a day after being sent down.

Fulmer was already on the injured list with a forearm strain. He was out from Aug. 24 to Sept. 11, then pitched two-thirds of an inning at Colorado on Tuesday, his most recent appearance. Closer Adbert Alzolay was already on the injured list with a right forearm strain.

Alzolay will be back on Sept. 25 at the earliest, while Fulmer could potentially return on Sept. 27. One positive is Marcus Stroman returned from a long stint on the injured list to throw two scoreless inning in Friday’s loss to the Diamondbacks.

Manager David Ross shuffled the batting order for Saturday’s contest, putting Happ at leadoff for the first time this season. Morel batted third and Mike Tauchman seventh.

Tauchman appeared to be shaken up when he dove for a ball in the fourth. He stayed in the game for a while, then was replaced in center field by Crow-Armstrong in the bottom of the sixth.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        



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