Costly mistakes in field continue to haunt Cubs

MILWAUKEE — Death by a thousand misplays.

That pretty much sums up why the Cubs have gone from the wild-card driver’s seat to the brink of elimination in just over a week.

Dropped fly balls. Bad flips to second base. Bobbled ground balls. Lack of anticipation.

It all adds up to a brutal stretch that continued Friday in a 4-3 10-inning loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at America Family Field.

“Just the little details, we haven’t been able to come through here lately,” said manager David Ross.

Two came in the Brewers’ fifth inning as:

• Third baseman Jeimer Candelario didn’t get a good enough jump on a bunt attempt by Brice Turang. Candelario’s throw was late, and it put runners on first and second with nobody out.

“It was a good bunt, but I should have made that play,” said Candelario, who added he wasn’t playing close enough to home plate. “I was waiting for the bunt, but he bunted really good and he’s really fast.”



• After a walk loaded the bases, William Contreras hit a ground ball to Nico Hoerner, but Hoerner bobbled the ball. The Cubs got a forceout at second base but blew a chance at a momentum-turning double play.

Carlos Santana then smoked a 2-run triple down the third-base line to give Milwaukee a 3-0 lead.

“We’re just giving away some runs,” Ross said. “Got to make (a play on) that bunt. That’s pretty obvious there. We’ve got to pick him up, throw him out.”

Slumping Swanson:

Dansby Swanson is 3-for-21 with 2 walks an no RBIs in the last six games. He was 0-for-4 Friday, grounding into a double play in the fifth and striking out to end the ninth when it looked like the Cubs had stolen the momentum after Ian Happ’s solo homer tied the game 3-3.

“Just playing bad, which I own,” Swanson said. “Obviously coming to work every day with the expectation of playing well. Just haven’t performed in moments recently. Sucks. Definitely something I’m frickin’ working on. Just not happening.”



Back in action:

Adbert Alzolay, activated from the injured list, pitched a scoreless eighth inning Friday at Milwaukee. Alzolay had been on the IL with a strained right forearm since Sept. 11. In a corresponding move, the Cubs optioned Keegan Thompson to Iowa.

Alzolay has a 2.68 ERA and 1.016 WHIP in 58 games leads the Cubs with 22 saves.

“It’s gonna help out a lot,” said Cubs manager David Ross. “We’ve missed him. He’s been a big part of our success. Having him back helps us shorten the game hopefully. (We) haven’t been able to do a lot lately.”

In the Cubs’ last 6 losses, the bullpen allowed 24 runs (21 earned) in 24.66 innings.

Around the horn:

Nico Hoerner left Friday’s game before the seventh inning with a left knee contusion. X-rays were negative. … Going into Friday, Yan Gomes had thrown out 28.6% of would-be basestealers, second among NL catchers who have faced at least 50 attempts. … The Cubs have 138 stolen bases, tied for third most in the NL and the most by the franchise since they swiped 151 in 1990. Nico Hoerner (43) and Cody Bellinger (20) lead the way. The 1990 club was led by Shawon Dunston and Ryne Sandberg with 25 each. … The Cubs’ 23 games with at least 10 runs are the most since they did it 24 times in 1935. … Nico Hoerner entered Friday with 43 steals, 175 hits, 98 runs and 68 RBIs. The last Cubs 2B to hit those numbers was Ryne Sandberg in 1985 (54 SB, 186H, 113 runs, 83 RBIs).


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