Chicago Cubs pitcher Drew Smyly is not smiling after his near perfect game against the Los Angeles Dodgers ended in the eighth inning following a bizarre infield single.
Smyly didn’t allow a baserunner through seven innings on the mound in the Cubs 13-0 shutout win over the Dodgers Wrigley Field Friday. He was six outs away from becoming the 24th player and first ever Cubs pitcher in MLB history to throw a perfect game.
David Peralta lead the top of the eighth inning off with a soft grounder up the third base line. Both Smyly and catcher Yan Gomes charged the ball, with Smyly getting to it first. Gomes tried to jump over Smyly to avoid a collision but he ended up jumping on Smyly’s back, forcing them both to the ground without an attempt to throw Peralta out at first.
Both Smyly and Gomes stayed down on the grass for a second as realization set in.
“I know Yan wanted it just as bad as I did,” Smyly told reporters after the game.
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Smyly forced the next batter to pop out to third base and struck out another before he was relieved by pitcher Jeremiah Estrada. In 7 ⅔ innings, Smyly finished with 10 strikeouts and only the one hit.
Although Smyly wasn’t able to pull off a perfect game, fans in Wrigley Field applauded his efforts, receiving a standing ovation as he exited the mound.
Cubs manager David Ross said he would have left Smyly in if the perfect game had remained intact, despite the lefty’s pitch count getting up near 100 at the time.
“I was gonna ride him harder than Yan did,” Ross joked.