CHICAGO — For the fourth time this season, Wrigley Field produced a suspended game with the latest a 4-4 tie between the Chicago Cubs and the National League West-leading Houston Astros.
The game was suspended after 14 innings at 7:10 p.m. CDT Tuesday and will be resumed at 12:05 p.m. today before the start of the regularly scheduled game.
Jody Davis' sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning tied the score 4-4 for Chicago. A total of 44 players--22 on each side--were used in the marathon.
"It was the strangest game I ever saw," said Chicago Manager Gene Michael, who used pitcher Rick Sutcliffe to pinch hit in the 11th, had pitcher Scott Sanderson run for Sutcliffe and then dispatched Manny Trillo to run for Sanderson. "I thought the umpires did the right thing. Whether they called it in the 13th or 14th inning, it didn't make much difference."
Houston Manager Hal Lanier, who made eight changes in the ninth inning alone, also agreed with the suspension.
"It was the first one I've been involved with. From where I sat, you could see the ball OK," Lanier said. "But I think the umpires did the right thing and did a good job."
Davis said it was the darkest he'd ever played in during his six years with the Cubs but he saw enough of relief pitcher Dave Smith's fastball to drive the ball to center field to drive home the tying run.
"I think when it gets a little later and there are no shadows involved, you can see it better," Davis said. "By the 14th inning, it was really dark."
Houston outfielder Billy Hatcher said conditions were impossible over the last two innings.
"You couldn't see a curveball," Hatcher said. "You're out there guessing. Man, it was dark."
The game might have ended in regulation but Nolan Ryan, who was sailing along with a one-hitter and leading 3-1, surrendered a two-run homer to Leon Durham in the seventh to tie the score.
"His pitch count was OK, he just laid in a fastball that Durham got ahold of," Lanier said.
Denny Walling's RBI double in the top of the ninth scored Davey Lopes to give the Astros a 4-3 lead. The Cubs tied the score in the bottom of the ninth. Jerry Mumphrey singled. Bob Dernier pinch ran, stole second and went to third on an infield out. He scored on Davis' sacrifice fly.
Houston had taken a 3-1 lead in the sixth off Jamie Moyer. Glenn Davis led off the sixth with his 27th homer of the season. Kevin Bass followed with a ground-rule double and went to third on an infield out by Jose Cruz. Alan Ashby singled to short center and Bass scored after beating Moreland's throw to the plate.
The Cubs tied it 1-1 in the third when Chris Speier hit his sixth homer.
Houston took a 1-0 lead in the second on Ryan's RBI groundout.