The weather in Philadelphia last night matched the results of this one. The rain fell in the eraly innings and it seemed silly that the game was being played at all in the third or fourth inning. However the rains cleared and the Cubs were left with an extra inning loss and a few positives. The big silver lining was the extremely solid pitching of the Cubs staff, but it was another night were the offense was largely held in check. This time it was largely self inflicted base running wounds, but some lack of situational hitting was a factor as well. Of course this team could break out today or tomorrow with double digits, but the (perceived) extreme hot and cold nature of the club makes a single solo home run feel just as likely.
Nick Pivetta wasn't great as the Cubs frequently applied pressure to the big Canadian righty. The young hard throwing has good stuff, but the Cubs were able to reach eight times in his five innings of work. The first inning however, was a fairly quick 1-2-3 affair. José Quintana did not match his counterpart in the bottom half of the frame. Rhys Hoskins drew a one out walk for the first baserunner of the game. He was forced out at second on a César Hernández groundball to Murphy. Wilson Ramos smoked a two out single into center, but Q was helped out with Carlos Santana hitting a line drive caught by Anthony Rizzo.
Nick Pivetta walked two in the second inning, but the Cubs didn't threaten with Albert Almora Jr. hitting into a groundball double play. Pivetta struck out Ian Happ to make Ben Zobrist and Willson Contreras walks for naught. Q settled in at this point and was extremely effective. He retired the next 13 batters after the Santana lineout to end the first. Quintana struck out 7 of those 13 batters faced.
Quintana did it all in this game. He led off the third inning with a solid single. The Cubs traded him on the basepaths for David Bote and an out. Daniel Murphy bounced a groundball back up the middle and Báez hit a flyball single into center to load the bases with just one out. Anthony Rizzo couldn't hold up against a high fastball for the second out and Ben Zobrit hit an easy groundball out to short to keep the game level at zero.
Willson Contreras drew his second walk of the game in the fourth inning, and Quintana hit another single. But the two out single resulted in nothing as David Bote struck out swinging to end the inning. Pivetta hung a curve to Báez with one out in the fifth inning, and Báez untied the game with a deep blast. Pivetta retired Zobrist and Rizzo again to complete his final innings of work.
The Cubs managed little against first Phillies reliever Víctor Arano. Almora led off the inning with a single for what felt like his first hit in a week. He was caught stealing pretty easily and the Cubs went quietly afterwards. José Quintana ran into trouble finally in the sixth inning. José Bautista struck out swinging for Q's seventh and final strikeout of the game to led off the inning. Roman Quinn doubled to break Q's streak. Rhys Hoskins flew out to left for the second out. Hernandez pulled a groundball between Báez and Bote to drive in Quinn. Hernandez wandered a bit off of first to draw the throw from the cutoff man. It worked as the game was tied but the inning and Quintana's night were over.
Tommy La Stella pinch hit to officially end Q's night, and he delivered another single to look like he might be hitting back up. Bote flew out, and that caused Gabe Kapler to go to the pen once again. Lefty Adam Morgan was the pick to face the Cubs lifestyle expert. Murphy hit a solid single to put the Cubs in business. Báez hit a routine flyball to right that was caught easily by Bautista. La Stella forgot how many outs there were and was called out standing on third base with Bautista's throw going into second.
Justin Wilson worked around a one out single to put another zero on the board to send it to the eighth inning. Justin Wilson, Jorge de la Rosa and Steve Cishek combined to retire nine Phillies in a row for 3.1 innings of scoreless work. It was just that eleventh out.
The Cubs had their chance to win this one in regulation in the eighth inning. Adam Morgan struck out Rizzo to start the inning, but Kapler elected to bring in Seranthony Domínguez to face Ben Zobrist. Domínguez won the battle with a swinging punchout that was aided by a call and it wasn't by noted fan favorite Joe West behind the plate. Doug Eddings run Zobrist up on a checked swing which Zobrist can be visibly seen saying "you sure about that?" as he walked back to the dugout. The inning wasn't over however with Almora Jr. singled and then advanced on a wild pitch with one out. Contreras hit a ball to third but Maikel Franco's throw pulled Santana off the bag to keep the inning alive. Domínguez walked Ian Happ to load the bases, but pinch hitter Victor Caratini was unable to hold up on his swing to end the inning. He continues to be the Unvictory Carrot as of late since his early season success.
The Cubs went quietly against the Phillies in the ninth and tenth frame. The game ended drier than it began, but it was a deflating feeling watching Asdrúbal Cabrera's flyball just hit over the 380 mark in left center to end the game. Steve Cishek was unable to get his third straight out and the Cubs lost a game to the equally red hot Cardinals who trounced the Reds.
Stuff happens. Apologies for us dropping the ball on game recaps back to back nights. The lengthy game didn't help much.