So Close, Yet So Far as Cubs Lose

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Casey Coleman battled through five innings to try to keep the Cubs in the game. But a strange sequence of events in the bottom of the 4th inning ultimately did in the spot starter and the Cubs. The recipe for the bad inning started off with the baseball sin of a lead off walk. That runner, Miguel Montero, made his way to third base on a single by Ryan Roberts, and Montero came around to score on a balk by Coleman. Roberts would score a few batters later when opposing pitcher Daniel Hudson laid down a safety squeeze bunt that caught the Cubs infield off guard. The final Arizona tally in the frame came thanks to a wild pitch by Coleman. Essentially all three runs scored on a baseball play other than a hit, although technically the safety squeeze was scored as a hit since Hudson reached first safely.

It was that bad inning that made Coleman’s box score line look ugly, with four earned runs and five walks. The good news on the pitching side was the stellar bullpen again. Jeff Samardzija continues to play magician as he chipped in another scoreless inning despite issuing two walks. At least he has shown that he can make his pitches when his back is against the wall. The former college wide receiver’s ERA has now dropped to 2.76. John Grabow and Marcos Mateo also had scoreless outings to keep the Cubs in the game.

The Cubs offense was able to provide an early one run lead in the 2nd inning and played catch up in the 7th inning when Geo Soto drove in two runs with a double down the right field line. Unfortunately the Cubs were not able to continue to pile on the runs in that frame and the score stood 4-3 in favor of the home team. After a lead off double by Marlon Byrd in the 9th inning, Carlos Pena hit a hard shot that looked like it had a chance to be his first home run as a Cub. But Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton made a leaping catch to rob Pena of the glory. Despite the highlight reel catch, the Cubs still had their chances only to not capitalize. Jeff Baker grounded into a game ending double play to give the Cubs a split of the four game series.

Kosuke Fukudome was still in the lead off spot and went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts. Starlin Castro continued his tryout as the three hole hitter and went 0 for 4. The Cubs as a team collected 10 hits, doubling the output of Arizona, but they could not get that one last clutch hit to put the team in line for the win. So close, yet so far. The Cubs continued their winless streak on Sundays and kicked the month of May off with a loss.