Game Ninety-Six: Cubs 3, Diamondbacks 9
WP – Wade Miley (6-6) LP – Travis Wood (7-9) Save – None
For the second straight night, the Cubs jumped out to an early lead and for the second game in a row the Cubs ended up losing a game in the desert. The Cubs had a 3-1 lead as late as the fifth inning before Travis Wood lost his command and gave up four runs in the fifth. The big hit was a bases loaded double by Miguel Montero. Paul Goldschmidt added the exclamation point, a two-run homer in the eighth.
The Cubs dropped their fourth game in a row and have lost 10 of 12.
Travis Wood had another rough outing and struggled with his command. And while he received no help from his defense, Wood had trouble throwing strikes. Wood was consistently behind in the count and appeared to be battling himself throughout his outing. Wood made gestures to remind himself about his mechanics and was talking to himself on the mound.
Travis Wood was charged with seven runs, five earned, on eight hits with four walks and three strikeouts. One of Wood’s three strikeouts was on a failed bunt attempt by Wade Miley. Wood issued four walks and two of the free passes scored in the fifth inning. Wood threw 98 pitches, 63 for strikes, in 5 1/3 innings.
Carlos Villanueva kept Arizona off the board for 1 2/3 innings, but Zac Rosscup could not record the third out in the eighth before he gave up two more runs. Rosscup allowed Aaron Hill to reach on a two-out double and Paul Goldschmidt smacked a two-run homer.
The offense had chances early in the game to put runs on the board against Wade Miley, but the Cubs could not come up with the hit with runners in scoring position.
Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a RBI) drove in Justin Ruggiano (1-for-4 with a run scored) with a single in the first inning. Welington Castillo (2-for-4 with a home run) gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning with his seventh longball of the season. And Mike Olt (0-for-3 with a sac fly RBI) plated Junior Lake (1-for-3 with a triple and a run scored) with a sac fly in the fourth.
Darwin Barney (2-for-4 with a triple) and Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a HBP) reached base twice. The Cubs pounded out 10 hits but were 1-for-8 with RISP and left seven men on base.
The Cubs defense was only charged with two errors (Alcantara and Olt), but the defense made several other miscues Saturday night. Welington Castillo, Mike Olt, Arismendy Alcantara, Chris Coghlan and Starlin Castro had rough games in the field.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to a season-low 16 games under .500 with a 40-56 record.
The Cubs squared up Wade Miley in the first inning, but managed only one run after another excellent catch from Ender Inciarte. Alcantara struck out swinging to start the game. Justin Ruggiano followed with a single to right (1-2 pitch) and went to third on a single to right center off the bat of Anthony Rizzo. Starlin Castro singled to center, Ruggiano scored and the Cubs took a 1-0 lead. Welington Castillo hit a deep drive to center that Inciarte ran back and made a leading catch at the wall. Inciarte robbed Castillo of at least a double and he kept the Cubs from scoring a pair of runs. Rizzo tagged and went to third. Lake flied out to right center to end the inning. The Cubs made Wade Miley work (23 pitches, 14 for strikes), but Inciarte changed the inning.
Travis Wood struggled with his command in the first inning but was able to wiggle his way out of a bases loaded jam when Martin Prado flied out to right center to end the inning. Wood really labored in the first inning (27 pitches, 16 for strikes).
The Cubs led 1-0 after one inning.
The game remained 1-0 Cubs until the bottom of the third inning. After Wood retired Hill with a flyout to right, Paul Goldschmidt singled to center. Mark Trumbo flied out to right center. Wood could not retire the lefty-hitting Montero and the D-Backs catcher ripped a single into center. The ball hit off the heel of Alcantara’s glove and bounced past him. Goldschmidt was running with the pitch and when Alcantara did not field the ball cleanly, Goldschmidt was waived in. Goldschmidt scored when Castro’s throw to the plate pulled Castillo too far up the third baseline … game tied at one. Martin Prado flied out to deep left center to end the inning. Wood needed 56 pitches, 37 for strikes, to complete three innings Saturday night.
After three innings, the game was tied at one.
Welington Castillo led off the fourth with a solo home run to left. Castillo’s seventh longball of the season put the Cubs up 2-1. Junior Lake followed with a triple into the left field corner. And Lake scored when Mike Olt hit a sacrifice fly into right … 3-1 Cubs. Barney grounded out to first and Wood strikeout swinging to end the inning. Wade Miley threw 51 pitches, 33 for strikes, over the first four innings.
Travis Wood retired the side in order in the fourth, and it took him only eight pitches to record a 1-2-3 fourth inning (64 pitches, 42 for strikes).
After four innings, the Cubs led 3-1.
The Cubs did nothing in the fifth and Wood took the hill in the home half with a 3-1 lead. Inciarte led off the inning with a ground rule double to right. The ball hit on the warning track and hopped over the wall in right. Wood really started battling himself at that point in the game. Wood issued back-to-back walks to Hill and Goldschmidt that loaded the bases with no outs. Mark Trumbo lined a 2-0 pitch right to Rizzo for the first out. Miguel Montero pulled a 0-1 pitch into the right field corner. Inciarte, Hill and Goldschmidt scored and the D-Backs took a 4-3 lead. Martin Prado lined out to third. Mike Olt made a nice leaping catch and threw toward second to double off Montero. But Olt did not step out of the baseline to make the throw and the ball hit Montero on the helmet. Montero advanced to third when the ball ended up in right field … and he scored when Gerardo Parra blooped a single into left. With Arizona up 5-3, Parra tried to swipe second and was thrown out to end the inning.
Travis Wood needed 91 pitches, 57 for strikes, to complete five innings … and after five innings, the Cubs were down 5-3.
The Cubs went down 1-2-3 in the sixth. Miley retired nine in a row after Lake’s triple in the fourth.
The Diamondbacks removed any doubt about the outcome of Saturday’s game in the sixth. Nick Ahmed led off the sixth with a double off the base of the wall in left. Wood picked up a strikeout when Miley failed to get a bunt down. Inciarte dropped down a bunt. The ball did not roll far from the plate and Castillo tried to make something happen, and it cost his team. Ahmed was safe by a mile, plus Castillo’s throw was high and Inciarte reached first easily. So with runners on the corners and one out, Rick Renteria went to his pen for Carlos Villanueva and brought in Chris Coghlan for Junior Lake in left in the double switch. Hill popped out to Rizzo in foul ground for the second out. Paul Goldschmidt lined a 1-1 pitch into left. Chris Coghlan froze before he broke in on the sinking liner. Coghlan tried to make a diving catch and came up short. Ahmed scored, 6-3 Diamondbacks. With runners on second and third with two down, Mark Trumbo hit a slow roller up the third baseline. Olt made a barehand pick-up, but had no play. Inciarte scored, 7-3 Diamondbacks. Montero grounded out to third to finally end the inning.
After six innings, the Diamondbacks had a commanding 7-3 lead.
The game remained 7-3 until the eighth inning. Zac Rosscup replaced Villanueva and struck out pinch-hitter Nick Evans and Inciarte for the first two outs. Aaron Hill doubled to left and Paul Goldschmidt launched a homer over the wall in left. Goldschmidt’s 18th longball of the season made it 9-3 Diamondbacks. Mark Trumbo struck out looking to end the inning.
Oliver Perez pitched the ninth with Arizona up 9-3. Darwin Barney tripled to right with one out, but was stranded when Coghlan fouled out to Montero and Alcantara grounded out to first to end the game.
Jake Arrieta will try to salvage the finale of the series and season series Sunday afternoon (3:10pm CDT) against Josh Collmenter.