Game Eighty-Seven – Cubs 3 Brewers 1
For the first time in almost a month, June 9th – 11th in Cincinnati, the Cubs won back-to-back games and like Friday night the Cubs received a tremendous pitching performance from their starter. Carlos Marmol threw a 3-hit gem and allowed only 1 run. He had a rough start to the game, but settled down and kept the Brewers off balance all evening. The bullpen pitched extremely well and Ryan Dempster threw his first perfect inning in a very long time to record his 14th save of the year.
The Cubs won behind the performances of two second-year rookies, Cedeno and Murton, and an impressive performance by a true rookie in Marmol….all of this on the night the Cubs found out their former Rookie of the Year will likely not pitch for them for the rest of the season. WGN announced during the game on Saturday night that Kerry Wood will likely miss the rest of the season with a partial tear in his right rotator cuff, a report on Cubs.com verified the announcement on WGN. But on the night the Cubs probably lost their checkered past, the possible future of the team stepped up and won a big game against the Brewers. The Cubs went quietly in the 1st to start the game and when Marmol took the hill in the bottom of the inning the question became could Marmol throw strikes? After retiring Rickie Weeks, Marmol walked Jeff Cirillo, got Jenkins to line out to left and then walked Carlos Lee and Prince Fielder to load the bases. Marmol received a visit from Rothschild and preceded to strikeout Bill Hall swinging to end the inning. The rookie could have lost the game in the 1st but he did not….he bent a little but did not break.
Marmol settled down after the 1st and held the Brewers to just 3 hits in 6 full innings of work….and 2 of those hits came in the 2nd. Damien Miller doubled and scored the first run of the game off of the double by pitcher Dave Bush. Marmol did not allow anymore runs and not another hit until the 6th….Marmol even retired the Brewers in order 2 of the 6 innings he pitched. As good as Marmol was, the bullpen was possibly better.
Roberto Novoa, Scott Eyre, Bobby Howry and Ryan Dempster threw 3 scoreless innings and allowed only 2 hits in the process. Scott Eyre was very impressive in his 1/3 of inning and Ryan Dempster threw a perfect 9th to earn the save. Dempster was incredibly sharp and nothing like the Cubs closer than has been wearing number 46 for the last 2 1/2 months.
The Cubs had a little trouble with Dave Bush to start the game and recorded only 1 hit in the first 4 innings. The 5th inning is when the offense woke up and scored 2 of their 3 runs on the evening. Barrett, who was 4 for 4 on Saturday night, singled to lead off the 5th and scored on a triple to right center by Matt Murton to tie the game. Murton then scored on a sacrifice fly by Ronny Cedeno to give the Cubs the lead. Aramis Ramirez scored the 3rd run of the game for the Cubs in the 8th, on a RBI fielder’s choice by Matt Murton, who was 2 for 4 with 2 RBI’s and a run scored.
The Cubs were 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position. They did not receive a free pass and against Dave Bush that is not a surprising stat. The Cubs did manage 12 hits and 11 of those came from the 5th inning on. Juan Pierre added a hit and stole two bases….both in the top of the 9th, he stole 2nd and 3rd for his 28th and 29th of the season.
The Cubs have received quality starts for the last 5 games….a new season long streak and the first positive streak for this team since April. This was the best back-to-back games the Cubs have played in a long time. The Cubs and Mark Prior will go for the series win on Sunday….can they match their season long winning streak? Again….wouldn’t it be nice.