Enhanced Box Score: Diamondbacks 12, Cubs 11 – April 16, 2024

For as thrilling as the moments were in that one before the 9th inning, and as comparatively joy-making as the 9th and extras were the night before … it was all pretty awful in the 9th and extras this time around. (That previous win notwithstanding, the Cubs sure do play some extreme horror games at Chase Field, don’t they? Hate that place.)

Ian Happ’s 7th inning grand slam gave the Cubs an 11-8 lead in a game that was already wild, and that should’ve been enough to win it. And if Nico Hoerner’s 8th inning triple had gone two inches further, it’s possible the Cubs would’ve pulled it off.

But the Diamondbacks chipped back away at a tired bullpen (plus an ill-time Dansby Swanson error), and then ultimately tied it in the bottom of the 9th with two outs when Ketel Marte’s fly ball DID go the necessary two inches to be a home run – required a review and everything. That’s how close the Cubs were to winning this one.

As it is when things don’t go well for Kyle Hendricks, the home runs did damage while he was in the game, and then he was charged with three more runs after he left because he loaded the bases in the 5th and Luke Little couldn’t shut it down. I still don’t think we’re quite yet at the point where the Cubs are going to yank Hendricks from the rotation, but when the starting pitcher gives up 7 earned runs on a day when the offense scores 11, that’s an enormous problem. I’m not letting the bullpen off the hook, and I do know that the 8th/9th inning stuff was kinda “baseball gonna baseball,” but I think we can’t ignore Hendricks’ ineffectiveness in this one as the primary driver of the loss.

Full box score.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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