CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon has said he'd consider using Justin Wilson in save situations this year, but he was pressed into having the left-hander pitch the ninth with a one-run lead on Tuesday afternoon because Brandon Morrow was unavailable. It just didn't work out for Wilson and the
CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon has said he'd consider using Justin Wilson in save situations this year, but he was pressed into having the left-hander pitch the ninth with a one-run lead on Tuesday afternoon because Brandon Morrow was unavailable. It just didn't work out for Wilson and the Cubs.
Pinch-hitter James Farmer smacked a two-run double with two strikes and two outs off Wilson to lift the Dodgers to a 4-3 victory over the Cubs in the first game of a split doubleheader at Wrigley Field.
Morrow said he felt back spasms early Monday morning when he was getting undressed at home after the Cubs had returned from a night game in St. Louis.
"It's frustrating any time you can't get out there, especially when you can't go for something as stupid as taking your pants off," Morrow said. "Getting hurt any time is frustrating, but when it's not related to throwing a baseball, it's even more frustrating."
Trailing, 3-2, against Wilson in the Dodgers' ninth, pinch-hitter Austin Barnes walked, and one out later, Justin Turner singled to center. Yasmani Grandal was called out on strikes and ejected after arguing, the third Dodger tossed in the game by home-plate umpire Tripp Gibson. Farmer then lined a double to left past a diving Kristopher Bryant for the game-winner.
"[Wilson] made a great pitch," Cubs catcher Chris Gimenez said. "I'd call that pitch 10 times out of 10 in that situation. We would've loved it an inch further in and we'd be laughing. For him, I'd take that pitch any day of the week. [Farmer] squeaked it through."
"He's been better -- he's been a lot better," Maddon said of Wilson. "It was just that one walk [to Barnes]. [Wilson] really matched up well with that part of the batting order."
Farmer was expecting to face his former teammate, Morrow.
"I thought he'd come in," Farmer said. "I was surprised he didn't."
Bryant had given the Cubs a 2-1 lead with a two-run double in the second and Anthony Rizzo added an RBI single in the fourth, but the Cubs missed opportunities, stranding 13.
"We've just got to be able to drive in more runs," Maddon said. "When you look at their left on base, it's very similar to ours. It's an industry-wide situational problem. We've got to do better. We had two good guys up there in Thomas La Stella and Albert Almora Jr. We liked both of those situations a lot. It just didn't work out for us."
Bryant, who began the day with three hits in 26 at-bats over his past seven games, added another double in the eighth. The Cubs loaded the bases that inning, but Rizzo flied out to right to end the frame.
Bryant felt he might have gotten Farmer's double.
"[Wilson]'s been great. It was really just one pitch, and even that pitch, I probably could have got the glove on it and stopped it," Bryant said. "I bet if I had another try, I could probably get it. Like I said, that's sometimes how it goes."
Tyler Chatwood did not get a decision but did strike out six, including Matt Kemp, the National League's leading hitter, to end the fifth. Kemp wasn't happy with that call and was ejected, along with Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
Chatwood walked five and now has issued 63 free passes this season over 68 1/3 innings, more in 14 starts than any Cubs pitcher did all last season. Jonathan Lester had the most walks in 2017, with 60 over 32 starts.
"I felt good," Chatwood said. "I think any time you can keep your team in the game and leave with the lead, it's successful. Obviously, you want to go deeper in the game."
The split twin bill was necessary because of inclement weather and a light malfunction at Wrigley Field on Monday night.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Clutch hits: With one out in the second, the Cubs loaded the bases on an opposite-field single by Kyle Schwarber, a single by Addison Russell and a walk to Gimenez. Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda struck out Chatwood. Bryant, leading off for the third time this season, smacked a 3-2 slider down the left-field line for a ground rule double, driving in two.
Bryant said he felt better at the plate.
"I thought I had some really good swings, seeing a bunch of pitches, being a leadoff hitter," said Bryant. "Just a way to get back on track.
"Today, it was nice to see a couple of those [pitches] in my zone that I really like to swing at and do something with it. Hopefully, there's more mistakes by pitchers, but today it was a good way to get back on track."
Welcome back: Perhaps the best news for the Cubs was the return of second baseman Javier Baez, who had to leave Sunday's game after he was hit by a pitch on his left elbow. Baez didn't start but was inserted as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning. He also singled with one out in the eighth in his only at-bat.
Rizzo hit an RBI single with two outs in the fourth, which gave him one RBI in 10 straight home games. According to STATS Inc., he's the fourth Cubs player to have an RBI in 10 consecutive home games since RBIs became an official stat in 1920. The others include Ray Grimes (13 games in 1922), Hack Wilson (10 games in '30) and Bill Nicholson (10 games in '43).
HE SAID IT
"He's going to walk guys. Everybody needs to understand that. But he's also going to strike guys out and make his pitches."
-- Gimenez, on Chatwood
Mike Montgomery will start the second game of this three-game series against the Dodgers on Tuesday night to cap the split doubleheader. It's going to be hard to take Montgomery out of the starting rotation. The lefty has given up just three earned runs over 23 2/3 innings for a 1.14 ERA as a starter this season while subbing for Yu Darvish. In his last outing, he gave up two hits and one run over six innings against the Brewers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT from Wrigley Field, with Rich Hill going for Los Angeles.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.