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Collision Ends Smyly Perfect Game Bid, Cubs Top Dodgers 13-0
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By Associated Press
Published 1 year ago on
April 22, 2023

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CHICAGO — Drew Smyly and Yan Gomes tumbled to the grass under a sunny sky at a picturesque Wrigley Field. Reclining on his side for one brief moment, Smyly grinned.

It was over, but it was a really fun afternoon for the Chicago Cubs.

Smyly lost his bid for a perfect game when he collided with his catcher while trying to field an eighth-inning dribbler that went for an infield single in a 13-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.

“That’s a tough way to end it,” Smyly said. “You feel like you’re really close.”

Home Runs and High Scores Propel Cubs to Victory

Nico Hoerner, Cody Bellinger, Trey Mancini and Patrick Wisdom homered as Chicago won for the fifth time in six games. Hoerner finished with four hits and four RBIs, and Wisdom and Mancini each drove in three runs.

Leaning heavily on his fastball and curveball, Smyly (2-1) struck out 10 and walked none in 7 2/3 innings. He threw 68 of his season-high 103 pitches for strikes.

Cubs Manager Praises Smyly’s Performance

“Amazing performance,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “That was fun to watch.”

David Peralta accounted for Los Angeles’ only baserunner against Smyly on a 32.9 mph leadoff bouncer in the eighth that trickled between third base and the mound. Smyly and Gomes each went for the grounder, and the catcher tumbled over the pitcher as the left-hander picked up the ball.

Memorable Moment and Praise for Wrigley Field

“It just came to the point where both of us wanted it. He got to it before I did,” Gomes said while wearing a Northwestern University football helmet with a Cubs emblem on one side. “I’m not as quick as I used to be trying to jump out of the way and I just ended up riding him and becoming a cool picture.”

Smyly was checked by Ross and an athletic trainer, but he stayed in the game. He retired Miguel Vargas on a popup to third and struck out James Outman before he was replaced by Jeremiah Estrada.

The 33-year-old Smyly received a thunderous ovation from the crowd of 30,381 as he made his way to the dugout.

“Pitching here at Wrigley Field is so special,” Smyly said. “It’s so awesome. Every single game the atmosphere is just off the charts.”

Perfect Games in History and Smyly’s Previous Performance

There have been 23 perfect games, including Don Larsen’s in the World Series. Seattle’s Félix Hernández pitched the last in 2012.

Smyly also beat Los Angeles with 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball in his previous start. He said Friday’s pregame bullpen session was the worst one that he could remember.

“I told Yan before the game, ‘Sometimes those can be your best games,’” Smyly said.

Estrada Finishes One-Hitter and Dodgers Struggle Continues

Estrada finished a one-hitter for Chicago. Nick Madrigal robbed Jason Heyward with a diving grab at second base for the final out.

The Cubs became the second team to score double-digit runs six times in its first 19 games, matching the 1885 Chicago White Stockings.

The Dodgers lost for the fourth time in six games. Julio Urías (3-2) allowed five runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings after losing to the Cubs in his previous start.

“I think today was just, across the board, just wasn’t very good,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Chicago’s Explosive Fifth Inning

Chicago broke open the game with seven runs in the fifth inning. Wisdom hit a three-run shot for his ninth homer. Mancini singled in Bellinger before Hoerner hit a drive to left for his first homer of the season.

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