With an 8-6 loss, the Chicago Cubs are on the outside looking in
The Chicago Cubs are hoping they are Bill Murray and looking for a “Groundhog Day” do-over to the last week or so of their season.
If the playoffs began today, the Cubs would be sitting collectively on their hind quarters watching it and the Miami Marlins would be the team playing Milwaukee Brewers in the first round. The Cubs found themselves in this precarious situation after dropping an 8-6 decision to the woeful Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night, watching the 72-81 Pirates skip joyfully out of Wrigley Field with a 2-1 series win.
Now the boys from Wrigleyville have one more home series to go, starting Friday against the Colorado Rockies, who come in with a 56-96 record. But losing records didn’t matter these past three days as the Pirates felt home in the friendly confines, torching the pitching staff for 29 runs.
The latest Pirates win — and a Chicago loss for that matter — started with Miguel Andujar delivering a two-run double in the third inning and an RBI single in the fifth and ended really with a two-run home run by Joshua Palacios, his 10th of the year.
Dansby Swanson tried to get the Northsiders back in it with a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, his 22nd of the season, cutting the lead to two runs. But Seiya Suzuki and Christopher Morel struck out and Yan Gomes’ lone flyball to right field found Palacios’ glove to end the game.
And the loss left the Cubs tied for the third National League wild card spot with the Marlins, who had the day off. Both teams are 79-74, but the Marlins have the tie-breaker on the Cubs because they won four of the six matchups they had during the year. The Cincinnati Reds, meanwhile, find themselves half a game behind the Cubs and Marlins for that final wild card spot, while the San Francisco Giants remain three games behind after they lost to the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-2, on Thursday night.
Mike Tauchman, Nico Hoerner, Swanson and Miles Mastrobuoni all had two hits for the Cubs. Kyle Hendricks (6-8) took the loss, giving up three runs, but only one of those being earned, while surrendering seven hits in six innings, walking two and striking out five.
Jameson Taillon (7-10) is tasked to keep the Cubs’ ship afloat as he will take the mound against Noah Davis (0-2).
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