Christopher Morel folded his arms and leaned on the dugout railing, taking within the Milwaukee Brewers’ raucous celebration throughout the sphere.
Morel stayed locked in on the scene as Chicago Cubs coaches and teammates grabbed their stuff to go into the clubhouse. The Brewers, with the division title wrapped up and nothing to play for this weekend, poured onto the sphere and mobbed walk-off hero Carlos Santana, who helped serve the Cubs one other one-run heartbreaker Friday in a 4-3 loss in 10 innings.
The similar recreation has performed out far too typically during the last three weeks. Sporadic offensive manufacturing. Defensive miscues. Close video games that don’t go of their favor. The Cubs (82-78) have misplaced 4 straight, and their season is all the way down to survival mode — and even that may be a beneficiant description of their almost nonexistent playoff hopes.
They are getting ready to elimination. Everything should go the Cubs’ strategy to shut out the season, the byproduct of going 6-14 since finishing a sweep of the San Francisco Giants on Sept. 6 at Wrigley Field. That stretch contains Friday’s loss wherein the offense had nothing going till the eighth inning.
“The one bounce here or there that you need in those situations, we’re just obviously not taking advantage of or getting or making happen so at the end of the day we’ve got to play better,” shortstop Dansby Swanson mentioned. “This last little bit I need to play better, come through in bigger moments and haven’t. Just frustrating, especially being in every game against good teams and really grinding our way but just not making it happen.”
Following the Miami Marlins’ comeback victory towards the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday, the Cubs should win their final two video games at American Family Field whereas the Marlins lose their subsequent two at PNC Park — after which should squander the resumption of their suspended recreation Monday towards the New York Mets. The Marlins maintain a 2-1 lead with two outs within the high of the ninth in that recreation.
Making issues much more troublesome for the Cubs is the very fact the Cincinnati Reds pulled even with them within the wild-card races. They each are 1 1/2 video games behind the Marlins, however the Reds additionally personal the tiebreaker on the Cubs.
“We’ve got to win every game,” supervisor David Ross mentioned. “It’s been that way for a while now. I know the score.”
The Brewers performed extra just like the staff making an attempt to remain alive within the wild-card race. The Cubs, who’re 21-24 in one-run video games, managed simply three hits by way of seven innings.
Morel had two extra-base hits and made one thing occur within the eighth when he adopted Jeimer Candelario’s leadoff homer with an aggressive triple, advancing round second when Brewers shortstop Willy Adames had the ball close to the sting of the grass — Adames’ again was turned to the infield. Yan Gomes drove Morel in on a groundout to chop the deficit result in 3-2.
Ian Happ’s first-pitch, game-tying homer to start the ninth gave the Cubs life. But the offense once more got here up quick within the tenth. Gomes struck out towards Caleb Boushley, who was making his big-league debut, and an intentional stroll to Mike Tauchman to load the bases arrange an enormous spot for Patrick Wisdom. He went down swinging on 4 pitches.
Santana sliced a José Cuas sinker into left discipline to attain the successful run and not using a throw within the backside of the tenth.
Two nice defensive performs by Swanson within the ninth compelled extras. He confirmed off his athleticism turning a 6-3 double play after which snagged a deflection off Cuas’ mitt for a barehanded throw to get William Contreras at first. Swanson’s glove work doesn’t make up for his offensive struggles the final two months, which have develop into significantly noticeable amid the Cubs’ collective issues down the stretch. He struck out twice Friday and grounded right into a double play.
“Just playing bad, which I own,” Swanson mentioned. “Obviously come to work every day with the expectation of playing well and just haven’t performed in moments recently. It sucks and definitely something I’m frickin’ working on but just not happening. We’ve got two more chances. I know (it) just sounds cliché, but another opportunity to come to work tomorrow and put together a good performance and give ourselves a chance.”