Ian Happ brought the Cubs back with a solo shot before Chicago fell to the Brewers in an extra innings defeat. They had a strong chance to put up multiple runs in the tenth but couldn't collect a single hit to drive home Swanson and Morel from second and third. The Cubs go into their final two games 1.5 behind the Marlins and tied with the Reds. With disadvantage in both potential tiebreakers, the Cubs must win both remaining games and need two losses from the Marlins and one from the Reds--any other outcomes render the final game moot.
SP Bryan Perez hurled four innings of one hit / shutout ball and combined with three relievers on a four-hitter and Skyler Messinger drilled a two-run single to provide the runs, as the Rockies edged the Cubs 2-1 in Arizona Instructional League game action Friday morning on Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, east of Scottsdale, AZ.
The Cubs enter the final series of the season half a game out of the final NL Wild Card spot. A devastating sweep in Atlanta puts them in a difficult position. And the fact that they played each game closely against the best team in the majors comes as little consolation--particularly as defensive miscues and a depleted bullpen can be blamed for each loss rather than the petty baseball fates. The Cubs have an uphill climb as they take on the NL Central leaders. Mere weeks ago, fans could hope that the Cubs would come into this series with a chance to knock the Brewers off of that hilltop.
Jairo Pomares singled, doubled, stole a base, and scored a run, Estanlin Cassiani singled twice and scored a run, and SP Cale Lansville and five relievers combined to toss a five-hitter (with the bullpen retiring the last ten men in a row including seven on strikeouts), as the Giants defeated the Cubs 7-1 in Arizona Instructional League game action Thursday morning at the Giants Papago Park Complex in Phoenix, AZ.
Zyhir Hope doubled, walked twice, and scored two runs, and five pitchers combined to hurl a two-hitter (both hits by Geuri Lubo) with nine strikeouts, as the Cubs "Red Squad" defeated the Cubs "Blue Squad" 5-1 in Arizona Instructional League intrasquad game action Tuesday morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.
The game was pre-planned as a seven inning affair, and the DH was not used (each team played with an eight-man batting order).
Drew Bowser (solo blast) and Reggie Preciado (two-run bomb) launched home runs onto the LF berm with two outs in the bottom of the 1st inning to give the Cubs an early 3-0 lead, and SP Alfredo Romero and four relievers combined to hurl a two-hitter, as the Cubs edged the Diamondbacks 3-2 in Arizona Instructional League game action Monday morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.
The game was called after seven innings of play.
The Cubs swept their final home series of the season and they hold the final NL Wild Card spot and trail Arizona by half a game going into the day off on Monday. These final six games will see the Cubs on the road against two division leaders, Atlanta and Milwaukee. The bullpen has struggled without key arms. There's a chance that Alzolay could return on this road trip, and Mark Leiter may be ready to appear again sometime soon. The Cubs are also looking to activate Jeimer Candelario as soon as his lower back allows it. Stroman has already returned to reinforce the rotation.
Geuri Lubo belted a game-tying solo HR with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, as the Cubs and Rockies played to a 3-3 tie in Arizona Instructional League game action Friday morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.
SP Luis Devers and five relievers combined to hurl a two-hitter (both hits were singles), but four errors, five walks, and three WP helped the Rockies score three runs that erased an early 2-0 Cub lead.
The Cubs' recent run of failure proceeded from frustrating to demoralizing against the Pirates. Solid pitching and defensive performers fell through and two attempted comebacks fell short as the Cubs managed only one win. Chicago is in a virtual tie for the final NL Wild Card spot with nine games remaining. They have three games against the Rockies at Wrigley to leave home on a positive note. See below for matchups.
Game 154, Friday, September 22, 1:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Jameson Taillon (7-10, 5.27 ERA)
COL: RHP Noah Davis (0-2, 9.58 ERA)
SP Juan Bello tossed three innings of no run / no hit ball and combined with three relievers on a four-hitter, Zyhir Hope singled leading off the game and scored on a bases-loaded 4-6-3 DP, Drew Bowser crushed a towering solo HR in the 2nd, Adan Sanchez and Carter Trice belted back-to-back home runs with two outs in the 4th, and Sanchez, Trice, Bowser (RBI), and Reggie Preciado stroked consecutive singles, Jose Escobar drew a walk with the bases loaded to force-in a run, a third run scored on a 6-4-3 DP, and Zyhir Hope roped a two-out single to right to plate the fourth and final run of the