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Cubs test Byrd's arm, and come out losers

5/17/2013
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs third base coach David Bell took responsibility for a bad decision that cost the Cubs a base runner and a chance to tie Friday's game against the New York Mets, who hung for a 3-2 win.

The Cubs had the potential tying run on second base with one out in the eighth inning when David DeJesus hit a line drive single to former Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd in right. Darwin Barney hesitated a bit and then took off around third base with Bell's blessings toward home plate. Byrd's throw was a perfect strike to catcher John Buck, who tagged Barney out three feet from the plate.

”Obviously it is disappointing. It turned out it wasn't a very close play," Bell said. "I just watched the replay again and it wasn't close. As a third base coach you always want to make the right decision. and that clearly wasn't the right decision."

Bell is in his first year of coaching third base for the Cubs after an 12-year major league career and four years as a coach and manager in the minor leagues.

”Obviously he would be the first one to tell you he would like to have that back," manager Dale Sveum said. "I have been in that situation before and sometimes you push the envelope to on a guy who doesn't have that good of arm. We know (Byrd's track record), so those things happen."

Byrd had gone in as a pinch-hitter in the top of the inning and stayed on in right field. The scouting report has Byrd with a strong but erratic arm from mid- range, according to a baseball scout.

"When you are scouting and doing all that (preparation) coming into a series, you know what arms to push and what arms you can't push," Sveum said.