Last night the Chicago Cubs managed to win, 5-2. But it wasn’t all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Let’s start today’s headlines with the bad news. It was all contained in a wild bottom of the seventh, one that saw the Cubs lose their 2-1 lead and lose two players to injury. Thomas Neal was making his first start as a Cub tried to throw out John Mayberry, Jr. who was going for a double. When he threw the ball, he dislocated his shoulder and landed on the disabled list. Then this happened:
A hit, a walk and a run later, Kevin Frandsen singled to right, and Chase Utley barreled into Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro trying to score from second just as the throw arrived.
Utley was out, but Navarro got the worst of it, suffering what the Cubs are treating as a right leg “contusion” – but that looked much worse until x-rays ruled out a broken right ankle.
Navarro, who spent several minutes lying near the plate being treated before being carted from the field, still appears to be a candidate for at least a sprain diagnosis.
If you’d care to watch the video of Navarro’s heroics and what looks like it would’ve been a much worse injury, you can watch here. Maybe the most amazing thing about the play is that Navarro held on to the ball, keeping the Phillies from taking the lead. Travis Wood appreciated it, too.
“He’s a baller,” said Travis Wood, another pitcher who likes throwing to Navarro and one who allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings Wednesday. “He stayed in there and took the hit. We hope the best for him. Hopefully, it’s nothing serious and he can just take a few days and be back.”
And didn’t think it a dirty play by Utley.
“I like contact,” Wood said. “It was a tie ballgame at the time, and he’s trying to get ahead and help his team win. I got no problem with that. He didn’t go out of his way to hit him or anything. That’s baseball.”
For what it’s worth, I watched the play and didn’t think the first thing about it being dirty until I read that article saying the Cubs didn’t think it was a dirty play. I agree with them. Now, on to the good news…
Donnie Murphy is a 30-year-old utility infielder who’s been with the Royals, A’s, Marlins and now the Cubs in his career. BeforeMonday, he had 18 career home runs. As of this morning, he has 21. the 21st of his career and his second last night gave the Cubs their winning margin in the ninth inning.
“I was just thinking base hit right there,” Murphy said of his ninth inning at-bat in a 2-2 tie. “But in a count 3-1, he didn’t want to put another guy on. I faced him [Tuesday] night. Thankfully, I knew he had a little giddy-up on his fastball.”
Thanks, Donnie Murphy, for exceeding all expectations of you. Please don’t suck horribly for the rest of your stay with the Cubs.