Cubs News

Cubs endure difficult loss in Atlanta for second straight night

9 months agoAndy Martinez

For the second straight night, the Cubs suffered a grueling loss.

Wednesday night, it was Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña willing the Braves to rally twice in the late innings and spark Atlanta to a 6-5 win over the Cubs. The loss leaves the Cubs tied with the Marlins for the final Wild Card spot after they split a doubleheader against the Mets on Wednesday, but Miami owns the tiebreaker.

“Played really hard,” Ian Happ said. “Two really good games against a really good team. Back-and-forth the whole time.” 

The Cubs have an elimination number of 4. They’ll wrap up the series in Atlanta and then head to Milwaukee for the last 3 of the season. Miami will wrap up their series in New York before playing Pittsburgh to close out the season.

After seeing a 6-run lead evaporate on Tuesday night, the Cubs saw leads of 3-1, 4-3 and 5-4 disappear Wednesday night — and for the second straight game, it was their defense that let them down.

“We gotta do some little things a little bit better,” Manager David Ross said. “Try to get runners in from third, less than 2 outs. Hasn’t been our strength here this month. 

“Guys are laying it all out there. This is a really good team. Gotta figure out a way to win baseball games.”

In the bottom of the 7th, with the 2-run lead, Jameson Taillon induced what looked to be a double-play, but Nico Hoerner flipped the ball over Dansby Swanson, allowing Austin Riley to score and extending the inning.

Then in the 8th against Julian Merryweather, Acuña singled, stole 2nd and scored on an Ozzie Albies single to tie it.

The Cubs showed resiliency taking the lead in the top of the 9th. Ross turned to Mark Leiter Jr., who hadn’t pitched in a week, to try and pick up the save with a pair of lefties due up.

“We’re not at full strength, for sure,” Ross said. “They’re really good, but you can also say their starters were hurt today and tomorrow, right? We can play that game all day. We gotta win baseball games.”

He induced a popup to Matt Olson but then allowed a tying home run to Marcell Ozuna on a 3-0 count.

In the 10th, Acuña singled the extra innings runner in to tie the game. Then, he again stole second, his 70th swipe of the season that led to a quick on-field recognition as the first MLB player to turn in a 40-homer, 70-steal campaign. After the impromptu ceremony, Albies again singled home Acuña for the win.

The Cubs’ resiliency will once again be tested. The team has shown it all season — they came back from being 10 games under .500 to being in a playoff hunt. They’ll need to bounce back over the last four days of the season if they hope to play beyond Sunday.

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