Marquee Sports Network battles glitches during Cubs’ ninth-inning rally – Chicago Sun-Times


Marquee Sports Network’s broadcast of the Cubs-Diamondbacks game Saturday encountered technical problems during the Cubs’ two-out rally in the ninth inning of their 4-2 victory at Chase Field.

The video became choppy because of a problem with the production truck in Phoenix, affecting Marquee and the Diamondbacks’ broadcast on Bally Sports Arizona, Marquee said.

While the team strung together three hits in four pitches, leading to three runs, play-by-play voice Jon Sciambi did all he could to follow the action as the picture came and went in the Wrigley Field TV booth, where he was calling the game.

With two outs, Rafael Ortega doubled and Robinson Chirinos singled, both on the first pitch, to tie the score at 2. Willson Contreras then hit an 0-1 pitch into the left-field seats for a two-run homer.

Sciambi knew Contreras put a charge in the ball, but as the picture glitched, it was tough to see if the ball stayed fair. Sciambi was able to follow it, but analyst Rick Sutcliffe admitted he didn’t see it. Sciambi had acknowledged the technical problems moments earlier.

Sciambi has been outspoken about returning to the road, and Marquee general manager Mike McCarthy said this week the crew will travel more in the second half of the season. The network plans to be in St. Louis for the series Monday-Thursday. The field reporter has been traveling of late; Taylor McGregor was at Chase Field.

‘‘The driver of our situation is to be safe and health-conscious wherever we can, so we can’t justify making every road trip,’’ McCarthy said. ‘‘There are some realities to some of the cities the Cubs go to that make it difficult to contemplate traveling the announcers.

‘‘It’s not, as some suggested, budget-related or tone-deafness about what makes or doesn’t make a good broadcast. There’s some realities that some cities are easier for our situation that we want to pull off with technology than others are.’’