The Chicago Cubs came into the day with a series draw against the San Diego Padres after splitting the first two games. Today’s pitching match up saw former Cub Andrew Cashner against southpaw Chris Rusin, who has been pitching extremely well since filling Matt Garza’s rotation spot.
Runs were hard to come by in this game, and that was pretty evident just by looking at the box score. Neither team scored a single run until the 13th inning! But not only that, the way in which the first run was scored was something you never see in the big leagues.
The Cubs were given a golden opportunity in the top of the 13th inning. They had the bases loaded with nobody out. The perfect chance to break the game wide open.
Nate Schierholtz was the man at bat, so the odds of at least one run scoring seemed to be pretty good. Schierholtz hit a ground ball to first base, which appeared to be a tailor-made 3-2-3 double play. There’s an old expression that things are “not as simple as they seem,” and this play was no exception.
The first thing that was weird about the play was that Schierholtz dropped to the ground after hitting the ball. He later told reporters that he tweaked his back on the swing, which was why he left the batter’s box so awkwardly.
Chicago Cubs outfielder Nate Schierholtz after getting hit in the head by Jesus Guzman’s throw to home. (Photo Credit: Lenny Ignelzi)
The next part of the play wouldn’t be any less painful for Schierholtz, as the first baseman’s throw to home hit him. Replays show the ball nicking his helmet, then hitting his left shoulder before rolling all the way out to the shortstop. As strange as the play was, everyone was safe and the Cubs now had a 1-0 lead.
Though they were still in a great position to tack on runs, they could only add one more on Brian Bogusevic’s sac fly.
As if to rub the missed opportunity in their faces, the Padres scored two runs of their own. The tying run was also scored in an unusual fashion as Kevin Gregg made a wild pitch, and then completely missed the throw from Welington Castillo that would have ended the game. Instead it was the game was tied, and it would continue on.
The Padres eventually won on a walkoff single by Nick Hundley with two outs in the bottom of the 15th. The loss gave the Cubs another losing series, and dropped their season record to 55-75. The Cubs are currently last in the NL Central, two games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the fourth place slot.