Thursday, July 18, 2024

Cubs’ Seiya Suzuki commits brutal error as Chicago blows six-run lead in crucial loss vs. Braves

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The Milwaukee Brewers clinched the National League Central on Tuesday night, albeit not because they were able to beat the St. Louis Cardinals. Rather, the Brewers clinched the division crown after the Chicago Cubs blew a six-run lead against the Atlanta Braves in painful fashion. 

The Cubs’ meltdown was capped by an error committed on a routine fly ball by outfielder Seiya Suzuki. It allowed two runs to score in the bottom of the eighth and turned a one-run Chicago lead into a one-run deficit.

Take a look: 

“I was actually seeing it pretty well until the very last second,” Suzuki told reporters, including the Associated Press, through a translator. “I honestly thought it went into my glove, so it was just that split second where it just blurred my vision.”

At the risk of stating the obvious, that is a brutal way to lose a ballgame. 

Of course, Suzuki isn’t the only Cubs player who deserves a share of the blame for Tuesday night’s meltdown. The Cubs were ahead by a 6-0 score heading into the bottom of the sixth, putting them 12 outs away from an easy victory. The Braves plated three in the sixth, halving the lead. The Braves then scored a pair of runs in the seventh and eighth innings to take the lead, with two of those runs scoring on Ronald Acuña Jr.’s 41st home run of the season. The other two runs scored on the aforementioned error by Suzuki.

The Cubs entered Tuesday with an 82-74 record on the regular season. That put them six games back of the Brewers with six to play. The Cubs were still alive, in other words, but their path to the division title was tricky and required them to win out. (The Cubs and Brewers will wrap up their regular seasons with a three-game set against one another.) Obviously that didn’t happen, and so the Brewers took home their third division crown in the last six tries.

The Cubs’ loss also clinched the top wild-card spot for the Philadelphia Phillies, the reigning National League champions, and reduced Chicago’s lead over the Miami Marlins to just a half-game. The Marlins’ contest against the New York Mets was postponed because of an unplayable fielding surface. 

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