Cubs lose again on late Dodgers home run
There was a potential turning point for the Cubs in their 3-2 loss to the Dodgers on Saturday. But it was difficult to tell if it was a matter of inches or matter of perception.
Jason Heyward hit an apparent go-ahead home run down the left-field line in the seventh inning. Heyward circled the bases as third-base umpire D.J. Reyburn ruled fair ball.
Then the umpires got together, decided it was a foul ball and a replay review didn't change the call. Replays shown on TV were inconclusive.
So the question remained, did the MLB replay center get a definitive look at it or were the replays inconclusive? Was it ruled a foul ball because the umpires called it foul, after overruling themselves?
"I never saw it," Heyward said after the game. "I never saw the ball actually leave, I didn't see where it landed, didn't see what it hit. I still haven't seen the replay yet. I guess they had to look at what they had to look at. Our guys were saying they didn't see enough to overturn it. Who knows?"
Had the Cubs taken a 3-2 lead there, they could have brought Craig Kimbrel in to try to close it out in the ninth. Instead, manager David Ross used Keegan Thompson in the ninth and saved Kimbrel for the 10th. Thompson retired the first two batters, then got too much of the plate on a 3-1 pitch to Cody Bellinger and he launched it into center field for the game-winner.
It wasn't quite a replay of Friday's game, but close. That game was tied 2-2 until the Dodgers hit a pair of 2-run home runs in the bottom of the eighth.
"Really good baseball game, to be honest with you," Ross said. "I thought it was two back-to-back great baseball games. They've come out ahead. We do some little things here and there, push one more run across and just couldn't tonight. But really nice good baseball game, proud of the guys."
Despite losing the home run, Heyward has had a productive series, going 7-for-9 at the plate with 3 walks. Even after his home run was wiped out, Heyward singled to complete the at-bat and raise his batting average to .202.
Cubs starter Alec Mills struggled out of the gate, giving up two doubles and a single to begin the first inning. Mills gave up a leadoff double in the second, two walks and a single in the third, then three singles in the fourth -- but somehow managed to keep the Dodgers at 2 runs.
Willson Contreras came up big, throwing out two Dodgers at third base. He caught Chris Taylor stealing in the second inning, then nabbed Taylor again on a pickoff throw in the fourth. That one was huge, because pitcher Julio Urias singled on the next pitch.
"Given the situation to go 4 innings and only give up 2 with the stuff I had and the command I had was obviously a little bit of a success," Mills said. "Losing hurts every time, but I did what I could today and just battled."
The Cubs scored their first run on a home by Anthony Rizzo, then tied it on back-to-back doubles by Heyward and Ian Happ.
Ross wasn't in a complaining mood about Heyward's overturned home run. Obviously, there were plenty of others things the Cubs could have done to pull out a win.
"I trust in the video," Ross said. "It's hard to see from my vantage point. It looked like a home run, he called it a home run. They got together and conversed and I guess they overturned it. All we can do at that point is trust in the video."
It didn't help that with a 4 o'clock start Pacific time, there was a mix of light and shadows all over Dodger Stadium.
"Game of inches or I don't know, it could be centimeters or millimeters," Heyward said. "I think in the dugout at the moment, everybody was saying, 'If he called it a homer, it was a homer,' It was kind of tough for all of us. I don't think anyone knew for sure."
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