Seiya Suzuki error costs Cubs in critical loss to Braves

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By Susan Comstock

Seiya Suzuki’s error on Tuesday night will be one that haunts his dreams. 

The Cubs right fielder misjudged a fly ball in right field that should have been an inning-ending out in the eighth inning against the host Braves but instead ended up dropping to the ground.

The miscalculation allowed two runs to score — including the game-winner — in what ended up being a 7-6 win for Atlanta. 

It was a brutal way for the Cubs to lose after they had established a 6-0 lead through the first six innings of the game. 

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

Braves catcher Sean Murphy hit what looked like a routine fly ball to right field that both Suzuki and center fielder Cody Bellinger charged for.

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Nevertheless, Suzuki, thinking he had a beat on the ball, called off Bellinger so that he could make the catch. 

Instead, the right fielder just missed the ball allowing it to drop to the ground. 

A distraught Suzuki dropped to one knee in frustration.

“I thought it was going to get caught, but it (was lost) in the lights or whatever happened, I don’t know,” Murphy said. “It’s good to be lucky some days.”

Seiya Suzuki #27 of the Chicago Cubs makes a fielding error as he fails to catch this fly ball by Sean Murphy #12 of the Atlanta Braves in the eighth inning at Truist Park on September 26, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Seiya Suzuki fails to catch a fly ball by Sean Murphy for an error in the eighth inning of the Cubs’ 7-6 loss to the Braves.
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The replay showed Cubs pitcher Drew Smyly at first thinking that his teammate made the catch before he quickly realized the ball was still in play, and he was quickly in disbelief. 

“Those errors out there in the outfield don’t really lead to the best result, so I feel like I need to hold a better consciousness when I go out there and focus on my game,” Suzuki said.

Seiya Suzuki #27 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after striking out in the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves
Seiya Suzuki reacts after striking out in the ninth inning of the Cubs’ loss.
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The loss was even more devastating for the Cubs since they’re in a tough fight to maintain their playoff positioning.

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Chicago now only has a half-game lead over the Marlins for the final wild card spot in the National League. 

They have two more games against the Braves in Atlanta before traveling travel to Milwaukee for their final series of the season against the NL Central-champion Brewers.

Chicago is now 11-13 in September.

— With AP

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