No Win for Samardzija, No Sweep for the Cubs – Yankees 4, Cubs 2

Game Forty-Four: Cubs 2, Yankees 4 – 13 innings

WP – Preston Claiborne (2-0) LP – Jose Veras (0-1) Save – David Robertson (9)

Jeff Samardzija pitched seven innings of shutout baseball and the Cubs took a 2-0 lead into the ninth inning behind a pair of sacrifice hits. The Yankees loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth against Hector Rondon on two singles and a walk. Ichiro hit a grounder toward short that Starlin Castro fielded and threw to Darwin Barney at second. Barney rushed his throw to first, the ball skipped past Anthony Rizzo and the Yankees tied the game. And Jeff Samardzija received a no decision.

The game remained tied until the 13th inning when Jose Veras took the hill. Veras was all over the place and the winning run actually scored on a wild pitch. The Yankees scored two runs and put the game away against a Cubs’ team that had little life after Barney threw the ball away.

Jeff Samardzija put together a very good outing. Samardzija retired the side in order on eight pitches to start his afternoon and threw only nine pitches in a 1-2-3 fifth inning. Samardzija pitched to a lot of contact and his defense responded and made the plays behind him.

Jeff Samardzija threw seven innings of scoreless ball and gave up four hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Samardzija threw 95 pitches, 60 for strikes.

Brian Schlitter put together a scoreless eighth. But Hector Rondon could not hold the lead.

The Yankees scored two runs on Hector Rondon in the ninth on two soft singles, a walk, a fielder’s choice and a throwing error by Darwin Barney. Rondon blew his first save opportunity of the season.

Wesley Wright gave up a two-out single to Jacoby Ellsbury in the tenth and a two-out infield single to Ichiro in the 11th, but that was all off of the Cubs’ lefty reliever in two innings of work. James Russell kept the Yankees off the board in the 12th but instead of using Carlos Villanueva for the 13th  inning, Rick Renteria inserted Jose Veras and he could not throw strikes. Veras gave up two runs on three hits with a walk, a wild pitch and a strikeout.

The Cubs pounded out 11 hits on Wednesday afternoon and walked four times but managed only two runs.  The Cubs went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base.

Mike Olt (1-for-3 with a double and a sacrifice fly RBI) drove in the Cubs’ first run with a sac fly in the fourth and Emilio Bonifacio (1-for-5 with a triple, a RBI and a sac bunt) was credited with a sacrifice bunt when the Cubs finally executed a safety squeeze in the seventh inning that plated Ryan Kalish (1-for-1 with a triple and a run scored).

Junior Lake (3-for-6) collected three hits and Luis Valbuena (1-for-5 with a walk and a run scored) extended his hitting streak to six games. Nate Schierholtz (2-for-6) and Welington Castillo (2-for-6) both had two-hit games while Anthony Rizzo (0-for-3 with three walks) walked three times.

Starlin Castro (0-for-6) went hitless at the plate but turned in several outstanding plays in the field.

Wednesday’s game took 13 innings and four hours and 39 minutes to complete.

With Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 16-28 on the season.

Jeff Samardzija kept the Yankees off the board over the first four innings. Samardzija threw 64 pitches 39 for strikes, in four innings and the game went to the bottom of the fourth with no score.

Starlin Castro worked a full count before Brian Roberts robbed him of a single to start the fourth. Luis Valbuena singled to right center and Welington Castillo singled to left. With runners on first and second with one out, Nate Schierholtz pulled a 1-2 pitch toward first. The ball took a bad hop on Teixeira but he got a glove on it and kept the ball from ending up in the outfield. Roberts barehanded the ball and almost threw out Schierholtz at first. Mike Olt stepped in with the bases loaded and one out. Olt drove a 1-1 changeup to center. Jacoby Ellsbury caught the ball. Valbuena tagged from third and scored, 1-0 Cubs. Castillo tagged and went to third on the play but Samardzija grounded out to the hole at short with runners on the corners to end the inning.

Jeff Samardzija retired the Yankees in order in the fifth on nine pitches (62, 42 strikes) and Emilio Bonifacio led off the Cubs’ fifth with a triple down the right field line. Bonifacio smoked a 2-0 pitch that Teixeira got a glove on and slowed down. The ball trickled down the line and Bonifacio was off to the races. Junior Lake fouled out to third (1-2 pitch) for the first out. Joe Girardi went to his pen and replaced Chase Whitley with Dellin Betances. The huge right-hander with the devastating curveball broke one off on the first pitch to Rizzo. The ball hit Rizzo as he swung over the top of it for strike one. Betances threw the same pitch. Rizzo recognized it and checked his swing as the ball broke in and hit him. Rizzo tossed his bat and started for first. McCann asked for help from the third base ump on the check swing and Lance Barrett said Rizzo did not check his swing. An irate, f-bomb dropping Rizzo stepped back in and struck out swinging on the next pitch. Starlin Castro lined out to deep center to end the inning.

After five complete, the Cubs led 1-0.

Jeff Samardzija kept the Yankees off the board in the sixth and seventh innings. And Adam Warren started the bottom of the seventh for New York.

Ryan Kalish hit for Samardzija after Olt struck out swinging to start the seventh. Kalish pulled Warren’s first pitch into the right field corner. Kalish hustled out of the box and slid in safe at third with a triple. With the infield in, Emilio Bonifacio bunted a 2-1 pitch back toward the mound. Warren fielded the ball and flipped it to McCann. Kalish slid in feet first just below the tag, 2-0 Cubs. And the third time was the charm on the safety squeeze. Bonifacio reached on the sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a single to right by Junior Lake. Rizzo walked to load the bases with one out. But Starlin Castro rolled a 1-1 pitch back up the middle that Jeter fielded … 6-3 double play, inning over.

At the end of seven innings, the Cubs led 2-0.

Brian Schlitter tossed a scoreless eighth and the Cubs could not add to the lead in the home half against Alfredo Aceves. Hector Rondon took the hill in the ninth with the Cubs clinging to a 2-0 lead.

Mark Teixeira led off the ninth with a single to center. Rondon walked Brian McCann on five pitches. While Girardi was sending in Brendan Ryan to run for McCann at first, Chris Bosio made his way to the mound to talk to Rondon. Yangervis Solarte blooped a single into center and loaded the bases with no outs. Ichiro hit a roller toward the hole at short. Starlin Castro fielded the ball cleanly and threw to second. Darwin Barney, inserted in the game in the ninth for his defense, rushed his throw. The ball was low and toward the right field side of the bag. Rizzo stretched but did not come off the bag to protect the lead. The ball skipped past Rizzo, Teixeira and Ryan scored and tied the game at two. With Ichiro at first, Alfonso Soriano pinch-hit for Aceves and struck out swinging. Ichiro stole second as Soriano was swinging and missing at strike three. Kelly Johnson grounded out to third to finally end the inning.

The game went to the bottom of the ninth tied at two.

Matt Daley retired the Cubs in order, with two strikeouts, and the game went to the tenth inning.

The Cubs and Yankees’ bullpens kept the game tied at two until the 13th when Jose Veras took the hill.

Brendan Ryan led off the 13th and smoked a 2-0 pitch toward third. Valbuena was guarding the line and dove to his left. Valbuena knocked the ball down, but that was all and Ryan reached on an infield single. Veras walked Solarte and put runners on first and second with no outs. Joe Girardi was out of position players and had to leave Preston Claiborne in to hit for himself. The American League relief pitcher dropped down a perfect bunt that hopefully several of the Cubs pitchers saw and took notes. Claiborne did his job and put runners on second and third with one out.

Jose Veras threw a breaking ball on a 2-1 offering to John Ryan Murphy. The ball did not break, sailed over his head and Brendan Ryan scored, 3-2 Yankees. Murphy blooped Veras next pitch into right. Solarte scored, 4-2 Yankees. Almonte tried to check his swing, but could not for out number two. Brett Gardner singled to left and put runners on the corners for Jeter. After Gardner stole second, Derek Jeter grounded out to Barney to end the inning.

David Robertson retired three of the four batters he faced in the 13th to end the game.

The Cubs will spend the next week on the West Coast with four games in San Diego and three in San Francisco. Jake Arrieta faces lefty Eric Stults in game one on Thursday night (9:10pm CDT).

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Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver