Cubs unlucky in 13th-inning defeat
Chicago ties it in eighth but can't hide from missed chances
CHICAGO -- Michael Barrett was prepared to do whatever it took to stop Jose Vidro from scoring in the 13th inning. All he needed was to hang onto the ball.
Vidro scored the tiebreaking run on Willie Bloomquist's single with two outs in the 13th on Tuesday night to lift the Seattle Mariners to a 5-3 Interleague victory over the Cubs, who dropped another heartbreaker.
"To have that happen just stinks," Cubs pitcher Will Ohman said of the loss.
Not even Cubs manager Lou Piniella could stomach this one. He opted not to meet with the media after the game.
With the score tied at 3 in the 13th against Ohman (0-4), Vidro doubled to left with two outs. Ohman intentionally walked Yuniesky Betancourt, and Bloomquist singled to right. Jacque Jones threw home in time, and got a favorable hop, but Barrett apparently didn't get his glove on the ball, and it rolled away. Vidro had run past Barrett, and was able to come back and touch home.
At least that's what might have happened. Barrett wanted to look at the replay.
"I thought the ball was in my glove," Barrett said. "I saw Vidro hit third. Jacque was about to make the throw, and I tried to block the plate just a hair too soon. I was going to make him run me over before I let him touch that plate. At the last second, I took my eye off of it, I guess.
"I felt it in my glove," Barrett said. "At the last second -- I don't know -- it came out of my glove, or I took my eye off of it."
Ichiro Suzuki was intentionally walked, and pinch-hitter Jamie Burke added an RBI single that first baseman Derrek Lee knocked down.
With the loss, the Cubs dropped to 1-6 in extra-inning games, and 4-14 in one-run decisions this year. They also evened their Interleague record this season to 2-2, and 72-77 overall. They had chances, stranding 14 in the game, and leaving the bases loaded in the first, eighth and 13th innings.
"I'm upset that play came down the way it did," Barrett said. "Battling back there for 13 innings, keeping the game as close as I can, pulling Rich [Hill] through some innings there -- we battled back. Hopefully, next time we're in that situation we'll win that game."
This game was a character builder.
"Unfortunately, that's been our story this year -- we've given it everything we have and for one reason or another, we come up just a hair short," Ohman said. "We know what it's like to be in tight ballgames and sooner than later, we're going to come out on the winning end of those."
The Cubs trailed, 3-2, in the eighth when Lee doubled and scored on Barrett's single that snuck through the infield for his 400th career RBI. The Cubs eventually loaded the bases, but Brandon Morrow got Ryan Theriot to hit into a fielder's choice, forcing Barrett at home, and George Sherrill struck out rookie Felix Pie and Mike Fontenot to end the inning.
The Cubs had opened a 2-0 lead in the first on Angel Pagan's RBI double and Lee's RBI single.
Kenji Johjima singled to open the Mariners' second against Hill, and reached third on Adrian Beltre's double. Hill got Betancourt to ground out, and the runners did not advance. But Hill was called for a balk before he threw his first pitch to Jarrod Washburn, and Johjima scored.
"I just flinched," Hill said. "I knew I balked. It happens."
It was a tough night for Hill, who lasted 6 2/3 innings, and was charged with three runs on eight hits and one walk. He was told by the umpires that he cannot stop his delivery, a message he got in Los Angeles as well. The lefty also gave up a solo homer to Jose Guillen with one out in the Seattle third, which tied the game. That one didn't hurt as much as Washburn's RBI single in the fourth, his first hit since June 25, 2004, when he got a knock for the Angels in an Interleague game against the Dodgers.
Hill and Barrett were seen talking in the dugout -- no punches, but lots of gesturing -- and pitching coach Larry Rothschild stepped in.
"No disagreement -- I was telling him I was upset about the pitch," Hill said. "I wish I made a better pitch to Washburn. He was telling me to hang in there. I was getting a little frustrated. It's the pitcher, and you don't want to give up a pitch to the pitcher in that situation. If I make a better pitch in that situation, maybe it's 3-2."
"It's heat of the moment, and you just talk things through," Barrett said. "I think he was disappointed about hanging the slider to Washburn. We were talking about pitch selection and what we were going to do the next inning."
The Cubs didn't help themselves in the fifth. They had runners at first and second with one out when Barrett flied out to right. Pagan, who was at second, had broken for third, and was easily out on the double play. He forgot how many outs there were.
"It was just a mental mistake," Pagan said. "Everybody makes mistakes."
He wasn't alone.
"I didn't have very good command tonight," Hill said, shouldering the blame. "Unfortunately, a few pitches here, a few pitches there -- I lost the game. I didn't pitch well enough to win today. I think there were some pitches here and there, if I made better command of it, we win that game."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.