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Craig Kimbrel Gives Up Two Home Runs on Two Pitches in One-Run Game

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 19: Craig Kimbrel #24 of the Chicago Cubs leaves the field after being taken out of the game in the 10th inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field on September 19, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cardinals defeated the Cubs 5-4 in 10 innings. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs are five games back from the St. Louis Cardinals for the N.L. Central lead in the waning days of the regular season. They're also in the midst of battling for a wild-card spot with the team that currently sits in second place in the division, the Milwaukee Brewers. Chicago has very little room for error, especially when it comes to inter-division matchups.

They had such a matchup on Saturday, when the Cardinals came to Wrigley to battle it out in an afternoon game. It was a high-scoring affair, but Chicago held a one-run lead going into the ninth inning. It was 8-7 as the top of the ninth began and closer Craig Kimbrel entered the game. Several minutes later, it was 9-8, and the Cardinals held the lead. Kimbrel gave up two home runs on two pitches.

That is, shall we say, not ideal. The Cubs signed Kimbrel about halfway through the season and have let him slowly get back up to speed, although he has been hampered by injury issues. It all seemed to be coming together as he got healthy with the playoffs around the corner. But his performance in a Cubs uniform has been extremely disappointing, and this is the culmination of that signing.

It really can't get worse. Back-to-back home runs to the division leader and rival while battling for a playoff spot. Brutal for Chicago.