Sick and tired Cubs manage to dig deep
CHICAGO -- The Cubs won Sunday’s rain-delayed 11-inning marathon just in the nick of time with a roster that was getting thinner by the second.
Already without Blake DeWitt, who was designated for assignment when the game began, the Cubs were getting short on bodies. Jeff Baker could barely stand because of a recent bout with a flu virus, but he was on deck at one point and nearly entered the game.
Ian Stewart, who was considered to be down for the count with the same illness, got off the clubhouse couch to actually deliver a ninth-inning rally-starting single and score the game-tying run.
And in the midst of putting together the game-winning run in the 11th inning, Jeff Samardzija was needed to pinch hit. He squared around for a sacrifice bunt and was hit by the pitch instead to load the bases.
David DeJesus, who was thrown out at home plate as the tying run in the ninth inning, won it with a bases-loaded walk in the 11th, but had the game gone on any longer he might not have been available either.
“I think I’m starting to get (the flu ) now,” DeJesus said afterward. “My throat is starting to hurt a little bit so I’m going to keep eating my veggies and go from there.”
For an offense that has been much maligned in the early going this year, it was the kind of determined victory it needed. Everybody had to take on as many roles as possible, even speedster Tony Campana, who crushed the game-tying hit in the ninth and didn’t rely on his legs to get the job done.
“I came up in a couple of situations today when all I could do was get them over and it was nice to finally be able to put a ball in the gap and let them run a little bit and get my first RBI of the year,” Campana said. “It was a good time to get your first RBI.”
It wasn’t a huge outpouring of runs and the offense was basically silent from the third inning until the ninth, but the bats came through when they needed to, helped by the fact that Travis Wood and the Cubs bullpen held the Dodgers’ offense in check.
“It was nice to get the big hit and that was a nice at-bat by [DeJesus] there at the end to lay off some pitches down,” manager Dale Sveum said. “They had a five-man infield with a big-time sinkerballer [Jamey Wright] on the mound. He laid off the low pitches, battled for the walk and we got the win.”