Following up on a massive complete game shutout yesterday the Arizona Diamondbacks needed extra innings to get the job done today in a pivotal matchup against the Chicago Cubs. Because they face the Chicago Cubs seven times this month, the team currently directly ahead of them in the Wild Card race, they more or less hold their playoff hopes in their own hands. For as dismal as the month of July was, the Diamondbacks are undoubtedly getting the job done now when it counts. Mark Grace was also inducted into the Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame commemorating his outstanding career there before he came to the desert to win a World Series Championship in 2001.
Merrill Kelly was tasked to follow up Zac Gallen’s complete game shutout yesterday. Kelly was coming off of an impressive outing himself having pitching seven innings of one run ball at Chase Field earlier in the week. On the bump for Chicago was Justin Steele with an ERA in the mid 2’s.
Kelly tightroped his way out of scoring situation for Chicago in the bottom the second inning having walked two batters with one out but was not as fortunate the next inning. A pair of singles from Nico Hoerner and Cody Bellinger gave the Cubs the first run of the game. The Diamondbacks tied the game in the top of the fifth courtesy of Corbin Carroll. He singled to leadoff the inning, notched his 46th stolen base of the season, and was subsequently driven in by Emmanuel Rivera.
The 1-1 tie would hold all the way through to extra innings, but not without some stellar defensive plays from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in left field. Arizona had a chance to take the lead in the top of the ninth loading the bases with two outs, but were unable to make anything of it.
What a throw, what a tag. pic.twitter.com/RMdFLkdRwh— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) September 9, 2023
The Cubbies faithful roared with excitement on this deep drive to left field by Yan Gomes as they thought it had a chance to leave the yard. Gurriel played it perfectly off the ivy and fired a laser back to Geraldo Perdomo to nab Gomes at second base. Had Gomes made it to second safely the Cubs likely would have won the game because the next batter, Nick Madrigal, doubled which probably would have scored Gomes. Fortunately for us that is not how this one was meant to be and on to extra innings we went.
Gabriel Moreno was the automatic runner for Arizona to begin the tenth, and as expected Arizona bunted him over to third with the first batter. Jordan Lawler was subsequently hit by a pitch putting runners on the corner with one out. A passed ball moved Lawler over to second, and then a wild pitch scored Moreno and advanced Lawler to third. Tommy Pham then singled Lawler giving Arizona a 3-to-1 lead.
A little extra inning chaos, but that's on-brand for us. ♂️ pic.twitter.com/XrYkyYHq3s— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) September 9, 2023
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. made his second spectacular play of the day in left field during the Cubs half of the tenth preventing their automatic runner from scoring.
We won't stop watching this catch any time soon. pic.twitter.com/WutkuOGekl— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) September 9, 2023
Closer Paul Sewald did give up an RBI single to Cody Bellinger, but slammed the door shut after that for Arizona’s third win in the series. The win brings Arizona within one game of the second wild card behind the Cubs.