Archer fans 10 Cubs, saddled with no-decision

Right-hander dominant until 7th; Marte hits 3-run homer

July 13th, 2019

CHICAGO -- For all that went into his disappointing no-decision on Friday at Wrigley Field, had plenty of positives to pick from.

There were his 10 strikeouts, the most he had produced in a game in nearly a year. There was the way the Pirates right-hander commanded four pitches and felt like himself. Still, it was difficult for Archer to embrace the positivity entirely after the Pirates fell behind, battled back but ultimately fell short in a 4-3 loss to the Cubs.

After ’s three-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning knotted the game at 3, ’s two-out RBI single off reliever in the bottom of the eighth spelled the difference and spoiled what was an otherwise positive step forward for Archer.

“You’d love to see a guy get the win every time he goes out there and gives you that kind of effort and that performance,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “That’s as well as we’ve seen him pitch in a Pirates uniform.”

Archer struck out 10 and allowed just one hit over six innings. But as good as Archer was, the Pirates didn’t provide any offensive support. In the seventh, Archer allowed a solo home run to before giving up a single to and a walk to . That prompted Hurdle to turn to , who allowed a Robel Garcia RBI sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded walk to .

Suddenly, the Cubs had a three-run lead, all of which was charged to Archer.

“It was all on me,” Archer said. “There was no thought about feeling bad for anybody but me not executing pitches.”

He added: “It’s honestly a little frustrating that I didn’t get through seven [innings] with the stuff I had today … I definitely felt like myself for sure. When I feel like myself, I expect to get out of those situations, so I have a little bit of a sour taste in my mouth.”

Marte erased the three-run deficit with his blast off of Cubs reliever following a double and a two-out walk to . Marte, playing in his 900th big league game, made the most of the moment, which took Archer off the hook for the loss.

“We’ve proven many times that even if we’re behind, we’re going to come out on top and that’s our mentality, that’s our battle,” Marte said through an interpreter. “Right now, our mentality is to be tough and to continue battling, and no matter what the situation is on the scoreboard, making sure we’re giving a very tough game to the other team.”

Almost as quickly as the Pirates drew even, the Cubs responded when Heyward punched a single into left field. Reynolds made a strong throw home, but it wasn’t in time to beat Bryant before Craig Kimbrel closed the Pirates out in the ninth.

Archer, who counted the Pirates’ resiliency as one of the biggest bright spots of the day, pinned the blame on himself despite striking out double-digit batters for the first time since July 22, 2018, when he struck out 13 against the Marlins while as a member of the Rays.

Archer kept pace with Darvish, who struck out eight and didn’t allow a hit until Melky Cabrera’s single in the fifth inning. But after leaving a pitch up in the zone to Bryant and then walking Caratini to put Feliz in a tough spot in the seventh, Archer said his disappointment in not executing pitches in the seventh is what will stick with him.

“I’m better than this,” Archer said. “Even with a lot of strikeouts and not a lot of walks and not a lot of hits, I’m better than this. Yeah, it was nice, but I want to finish it. I don’t want to have a bad inning whether it’s the first or the seventh. I don’t want that.”