Breaking News Bar
updated: 8/22/2013 9:09 PM

Cubs a lost cause at Wrigley

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Travis Wood delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in Chicago.

      Travis Wood delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in Chicago.
    Associated Press

  • Washington Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon, left, catches Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro trying to steal second off a throw by catcher Wilson Ramos during the third inning of a baseball game on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

      Washington Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon, left, catches Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro trying to steal second off a throw by catcher Wilson Ramos during the third inning of a baseball game on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
    Associated Press

  • Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro, right, is safe at first avoiding the tag by Washington Nationals first baseman Tyler Moore on a high throw by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman during the sixth inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

      Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro, right, is safe at first avoiding the tag by Washington Nationals first baseman Tyler Moore on a high throw by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman during the sixth inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
    Associated Press

  • Chicago Cubs' Donnie Murphy hits a game-tying two-run home run off Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg during the ninth inning of a baseball game on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

      Chicago Cubs' Donnie Murphy hits a game-tying two-run home run off Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg during the ninth inning of a baseball game on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

 

There were so many "go-figure" moments at Wrigley Field on Thursday that it was easy to lose track over 13 innings.

One thing held to form, though: The Cubs lost again at home.

The Washington Nationals dropped them 5-4 on about a 40-foot RBI groundout by pinch hitter Chad Tracy in the top of the 13th.

Heading to the West Coast, the Cubs are 54-73 overall and 25-41 at Wrigley Field. That puts them on pace to finish 31-50 at home, and no Cubs team has lost 50 at Wrigley Field, with 49 being the record for futility.

"The bottom line is we've got to win games," said manager Dale Sveum. "We just come up short in games like this. It was nice coming back and all, but we had some opportunities. When you're at home, it's tough when you only have one walk-off win at home the whole season."

The most interesting subplot of the long afternoon -- the game started late because of a two-hour rain delay -- was a battle between one of the most highly touted phenoms in baseball and a journeyman who has had to scrap for everything.

Washington starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the phenom, dominated the Cubs into the ninth inning giving up only an eighth-inning solo homer to Brian Bogusevic. That brought the Cubs within 4-1, and Nationals manager Davey Johnson sent Strasburg out for the ninth to finish what looked to be a sure complete game.

Enter the journeyman.

Cubs third baseman Donnie Murphy, who has battled since 2004 just to stay in the big leagues, hit a game-tying two-out homer off Strasburg to cap a 3-run rally.

This was after Strasburg had struck him out three times earlier in the game.

"I played against the Nationals forever, for three years being with the Marlins," the 30-year-old Murphy said. "I've seen him pitch all the time, but I never got to face him. Going in there and him K-ing, me three times and getting the last say was pretty cool."

Murphy has played in 16 games for the Cubs, who brought him up from Class AAA Iowa on Aug. 3., and he has 8 home runs and 15 runs batted in with a slugging percentage of .810.

"I've never been on a run like this in the big leagues," he said. "I'm still having fun with it. But at the same time, I wish we were winning more ballgames. But we faced Strasburg today, and it wasn't like he gave us many good pitches to hit. I think he was just dotting the corners today, and luckily, we got to him in the ninth. It was definitely a tough loss."

Murphy has taken over as the starting third baseman with Luis Valbuena on the disabled list. Sveum continues to marvel at what Murphy has done in a short time.

"Yeah, the beat goes on with Murphy," Sveum said. "He's obviously our big bright spot offensively. No telling where we'd be without him the last two weeks."

bmiles@dailyherald.com

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here