CHICAGO – While the season hasn’t been very successful for the club, they have usually been able to take care of business when they have the lead with just an inning to go.
Before Thursday, the Cubs had entered the ninth inning with a lead 51 times during the 2022 season and won 48 of those contests.
But that wouldn’t be the case against the Reds on a beautiful early September day at Wrigley Field as an ugly final frame led to a lost game and series.
Cincinnati struck for two runs against Mark Leiter Jr. in the ninth and handed the Cubs a 4-3 defeat as they take 2-of-3 games in the series from the hosts. It’s just the fourth time all season that the Cubs have entered the last inning with a lead and have not come out with the victory.
This defeat continues a downturn for the Cubs after they were more competitive in late July and early August as the club falls to 3-10 in their last 13 games while losing a fourth-straigth series. This comes ahead of a visit by the Giants to Wrigley Field for a three-game series starting on Friday evening.
After a walk and a fly out, Alejo Lopez would get the game-tying hit off Leiter as he sent a hit to left-center field. As the outfielders struggled to get it, Nick Senzel raced home to even the game at three as Lopez ended up with a triple. After Leiter got TJ Friedl to strike out, Jonathan India drove home the eventual game-winning run.
The Cubs would only manage a single in the ninth as they took a rare loss for the 2022 season.