A Wasted Gem

Game Thirty-Six – Cubs 3 Padres 4

Greg Maddux was on the mound on Saturday looking to get the Cubs out of their horrific slide and to get his first win in the month of May. Maddog threw 73 pitches, 48 for strikes, struck out three and walked one in seven close to perfect innings of work. Maddux was on automatic and his pitch count by inning was amazing.

1st-9 (pitches), 2nd-7, 3rd-15, 4th-10, 5th-9, 6th-5, 7th-6

When you have a line like that, games should be won. With the rest of the staff this would be per batter per inning, with the exception of the 3rd inning. Maddux and the Cubs did a lot of things right today but let this one slip away. Dempster blew his 1st save of the year and the 1st since July of last year (26 in a row) as the Cubs dropped a tough one to the Padres 4-3. The Cubs have dropped 11 of their last 12. In the 1st inning the Cubs got the bats going pretty quick. Pierre flied out to left to start the game. Cedeno singled to right, and Walker flied out to center. Aramis singled to center, Cedeno advanced to 3rd and Jacque Jones stepped to the plate and recorded his 1000th career hit, Cedeno scored. Cubs 1 Padres 0. Hariston Jr reached on a bunt single and Aramis scored. Neifi popped out in four territory to end the inning and the Cubs were ahead, 2-0. The Cubs recorded seven hits in the contest and three were in 1st inning that scored the 2 runs….2 runs on 3 hits, this one might actually go the way of the Northsiders was the feeling at the end of the 1st inning.

The Cubs scored one more time in the bottom of the 6th. Neifi doubled to right and scored and after Blanco hit a ball to right and Giles made an error allowing Neifi to score….Cubs 3 Padres 0.

The way Maddog was pitching you would thought that was all the Cubs would need to put one in the W column. Maddux put down 15 Padres in a row, and was on cruise control until the top of the 8th. Dempster may have allowed two base runners and a 3 run jack in the top of the 9th, but what happened in the 8th was the run that killed the Cubs. Castilla singled to center; Jacque Jones hustled and made a great play to cut the ball off before it reached the wall. Instead of planting himself and hitting the cut off man, he spun missed the cut off and Castilla walked to second. Gonzalez stepped to the plate and grounded out to second and Castilla moved to 3rd. If Jones would have hit the the cut-off; that was a routine double play. But with Castilla at third Barfield singled and Castilla scored easily. What should be 2 outs and meaningless runner at 1st turned out to be 1 out, runner at 1st and one run in. This obviously got to Maddux as he walked the next batter on 5 pitches and was relieved of his duties…..Scott Eyre came in from the bullpen and got the Cubs out of bad situation. Eyre got pinch hitter Eric Young to ground into a DP….and put an end to the threat.

In the bottom of the 8th Jacque Jones reached on an infield single and advanced to 2nd on a botched pick off play…. the Cubs had a runner at 2nd, with no outs. Hariston laid down a sacrifice bunt and advanced Jones to third….some may not agreed with that…but a sacrific fly and/or a base hit would have scored the runner from 3rd. Instead Neifi lined out hard to 1st and Blanco struck out swinging. The Cubs looked good going into the 9th leading 3-1 and Dempster coming in to add to his consecutive save record.

The Padres are hot right now and the Cubs are as cold as a meat locker and what happened in the 9th happens when clubs are hot. Cameron singled to center, Giles singled to right and Piazza puts one barely in the basket in left. Cubs 3 Padres 4. Dempster retired the next three in typical Dempster fashion, but the damage was done and the feeling was that the game is over….at least with this team at this point in time during this embarrassing losing marathon.

Maddog gets the CCO player of the game; he pitched like the Maddog of old and should have recorded his 6th win of the season, but the baseball gods are really making us suffer, and on Saturday they got us in the worst possible way.

C’mon guys, this is getting old.

Until next…but for now GO CUBBIE..ZZZZzzzzzzz