Game One Hundred Forty-Seven – Cubs 6 Dodgers 5
Wade Miller threw the ball well in his second start of the season and held the Dodgers to just 1 hit, unfortunately for Miller it was a 2-run home run by Marlon Anderson. Miller pitched 5 strong innings, his location was much-improved over his last start but the free passes led to one of the additional runs. Miller gave way to Carlos Marmol who gave up a 3-run homer to J.D. Drew but the rest of the bullpen held the Dodgers in check and Bobby Howry pitched the 9th for the save.
Angel Pagan tripled in the in the 4th to tie the game, Ryan Theriot had an RBI single as a part of the 4-run 7th before leaving the game in the 9th with a hand injury. Aramis Ramirez had the big blow in the game, a 3-run home run with 2 outs in the 7th to put the Cubs up for good. The Cubs won 4 of 6 against the Dodgers this season….it was their first series win since they swept the Astros in Houston, August 14-16. Wade Miller looked very good from the start. He threw a 1-2-3 1st inning and was very efficient….he recorded all 3 outs on just 8 pitches. The only runs he allowed were in the 2nd inning. J.D. Drew walked to lead off the inning and Marlon Anderson followed with a home run to right that hit the foul pole. After the home run to Anderson, Miller retired the next 7 Dodgers he faced. Wilson Betemit and Anderson walked to leadoff the 5th but Miller pitched around his mistakes and got Rafael Furcal to ground out to Derrek Lee to end the inning. Miller located his pitches and threw 81 on the day, 49 for strikes.
Carlos Marmol was not as effective as Miller. Kenny Lofton led off the 6th with a bunt single, was hit in the head by the ball and was unable to advance….he was dazed. Nomar followed with a single and J.D. Drew hit a 3-run homer over the left field wall to put the Dodgers up 5-2. Scott Eyre came in, finished the inning and pitched the 7th….he also picked up the win. He was much more effective than he had been; he did not give up a hit, walked 1 and struck out 2. Michael Wuertz and Will Ohman combined for a scoreless 8th and Bobby Howry retired the Dodgers in order in the 9th. Cubs pitching held the Dodgers to just 4 hits on the day and they were helped by very good defensive plays. Matt Murton, Juan Pierre, Ryan Theriot and Derrek Lee played in the field the way a Major Leaguer is supposed to.
After being shutout for the 14th time on the season (most since 1992) and a lefty making the start, early it looked like the Cubs would be shutout again. They recorded 11 hits on the day and 7 against starter Hong-Chih Kuo. Kuo held the Cubs scoreless until the 4th inning (12 1/3 innings of shutout ball). Aramis Ramirez led off the inning with a single to left, 1-out later Murton followed and both scored on a triple to right center by Angel Pagan. The Cubs had the go ahead run at 3rd in Pagan when Blanco hit a grounder to Betemit and he threw home to get Pagan at the plate. Pagan broke on contact and Betemit made a good play. Kuo was replaced by Brett Tomko in the 7th. Kuo was very effective on the mound and held the Cubs to 2 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings, he did not give up a walk (the second straight game the Cubs did not take a free pass) and struck out 6.
Ronny Cedeno singled with 1-out to start the rally. Jacque Jones struck out, Juan Pierre recorded a bunt single and Theriot singled to score Cedeno. Aramis Ramirez then hit the second pitch he saw over the left center field wall to give the Cubs the lead….number 33 on the season and an even 100 RBI’s. 4 runs with 2 outs….not bad!!
The Cubs took a series from a very good team fighting to make the playoffs. It was a very good win for a young club and a very good outing for Wade Miller.
The Reds start a 3-game series against the Cubs on Friday afternoon at Wrigley, Juan Mateo against Bronson Arroyo….how many times will the Reds go deep in this series?