Wisdom had an epic 450-foot homer to tie the game (David Banks - USA Today Sports)
Wisdom had an epic 450-foot homer to tie the game (David Banks - USA Today Sports)

Cubs drop series finale to Red Sox in extras


by - Senior Writer -

CHICAGO - The Chicago Cubs (32-47) is about to get extremely tough the next week, and it will give fans a great indication of how far off these guys are. When facing good teams, all you can ask for is to be competitive, which is what they have been for the better part of three weeks.

Already with a series victory in hand, the Cubs were looking to sweep the Boston Red Sox (44-35) at Wrigley Field before taking to the road. Considering how they pitched the first two games, the Cubs had a chance as Keegan Thompson was on the mound again.

This was not one of his better starts, as he walked three hitters across four innings of work. Despite his command not being where it typically is, Thompson struck out three and allowed two runs as he still gave the Cubs offense a chance before the Red Sox rallied off Rowan Wick in extras for the 4-2 win.

Opposing Thompson was Connor Seabold, who also went four innings, allwoing just one run in his outing. The lone run he allowed came in the first innings as the Cubs history of scoring first continued in this one. With Thompson working around a jam in the first, Rafael Ortega started things off with a leadoff double and then trotted home on the Willson Contreras RBI knock to make things 1-0.

That would be the Cubs only run until late in the game, as both offenses were stuck in neutral early on. Not only did Thompson pitch out of traffic early, but he induced a pair of double plays in consecutive innings to ensure the Cubs would stay in front for now. That all changed in the fourth when Boston was able to push across both of their runs against Thompson in that frame.

Singles by Alex Verdugo and Christian Vazquez started things off before the one-out single by Franchy Cordero off of Thompson pulled the Red Sox to even with Chicago, but the bases-loaded walk to Jarren Duran gave Boston the 2-1 lead. That would spell the end of the line for Thompson as it was now a battle of the bullpens for both sides.

Matt Swarmer was the first out of the pen as he continues to get used to his new MLB role. Despite running into minor trouble in the fifth, Swarmer did what he needed to do and got out of the inning with no runs. That continued into the sixth when he gave way for Brandon Hughes as the left-hander finished that inning with the Cubs still trailing by one.

Despite Nico Hoerner and Alfonso Rivas picking up singles off of Hirokazu Sawamura in the sixth, there was a costly double play sandwiched between those singles as the Cubs were putting guys on base, but coming away empty-handed.

Following a scoreless seventh inning by Scott Effross and John Schreiber, the teams headed to the eighths with the Red Sox up one and the Cubs continue to play catchup. Of all the relief pitchers used by David Ross on the afternoon, Effross was by far the best as he tossed a pair of scoreless frames to keep the Cubs close enough to strike.

Down to their final six outs, Wisdom unloaded off a Matt Strahm pitch and crushed it 450 feet to left-center field, helping to bring things back to even 2-2. That score remained intact through the ninth inning as the Red Sox and Cubs gave the fans some free holiday weekend baseball.

With neither team doing much in the 10th, Wick returned to the mound for the 11th as the Red Sox used that to their advantage. Despite a walk to Christian Arroyo putting two guys on base, Wick nearly worked out of another jam by retiring the next two hitters he faced. That was until a costly error by Wick allowed not only one run to score, but two as the Red Sox were back in front 4-2. For as good as Wick has been the past three years, something is off with him this year, and he looks like a shell of his previous self right now.

Needing offense in a hurry, Nelson Velazquez worked a one-out walk in the bottom of the 11th, helping bring the winning run to bat. Unfortunately, Jake Diekman was able to strike out Christopher Morel and Narciso Crook to end the game as the Red Sox salvaged the series finale 4-2. Rivas led the offense with two hits, while Morel was the lone starter without a hit.

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