Walking off with the Loss

Game Thirty-Six – Cubs 4 Mets 5
WP – Aaron Heilman (4-2) LP – Michael Wuertz (0-2) Save – None

Updated 11:10pm C.T. with Quotes from Piniella after Monday’s Game

Jason Marquis started Monday night’s game the way he had finished his two previous outings. He threw strikes and helped his team build an early 4-0 lead against Tom Glavine. Marquis lost his command and confidence in the 4th, allowed a 2-run home run to David Wright after walking Carlos Delgado to lead off the inning. Marquis left the game after pitching to two batters in the 6th. Rocky Cherry allowed the tying runs to score in the 6th and Carlos Delgado’s second walk on the night with the bases loaded in the 9th gave the Mets the victory. Michael Wuertz retired the first two batters he faced in the 9th before allowing a single to Jose Reyes followed by three consecutive walks.

The Cubs bullpen for the 8th time this season could not hold the lead and ran their record as a squad to 2-10 as they continue to show the inability to throw strikes and close out innings. The bullpen allowed 1 run on 3 hits, walked 4, struck out 3 and allowed 2 inherited runs to score. The Cubs are giving away winnable games early in the year that will make a difference as the season progresses.

The difference between the Mets and Cubs can be found by solely looking at the 9th inning. Ryan Theriot stepped to the plate and worked the count against Mets’ reliever Pedro Feliciano and ended up doubling to right with 2-outs. Willie Randolph went to his pen for Aaron Heilman to turn Cesar Izturis around to bat left handed (it was a good move by Randolph, he knew Piniella had limited options). Izturis responded by swinging at the 1st pitch from Heilman and tapped back to the mound with the go ahead run at 2nd base….he did not take a single pitch. inning over.

Michael Wuertz retired Damion Easley and Julio Franco before Jose Reyes singled to center with 2-outs. Endy Chavez followed and took the first pitch he saw from Wuertz. Reyes stole 2nd on a pitch out and Wuertz ended up walking Chavez on 4 pitches. Chavez taking the first pitch not only gave Reyes a chance to get into scoring position but he made the pitcher work. Wuertz walked Carlos Beltran to load the bases, at one point throwing 10 straight balls. Carlos Delgado worked a 3-2 count before walking to score Reyes from 3rd to win the game.

Aaron Heilman threw 1-pitch and was credited with the win.

Tom Glavine did not have his typical control early and the Mets defense did not help either. With 2-outs, Alfonso Soriano doubled to right and as he jogged into 2nd base it was very clear he was limping. Aramis Ramirez blooped a single to center that fell in front of Carlos Beltran, who could not make a shoestring catch, and Soriano scored from 2nd. In the 2nd inning, Mark DeRosa walked on 4 pitches to lead off the inning. With 1-out Angel Pagan doubled to left, Chavez dove but misplayed the ball. With the infield in half way, Jason Marquis singled to center to score DeRosa and Pagan. Theriot flied out to right but Cesar Izturis blooped a double to right that fell in between Shawn Green and Damion Easley, Marquis scored. Soriano ended up flying out to deep center after a very good at bat for the final out.

Tom Glavine settled down after the 2nd inning until 2 outs in the 5th. Soriano drew a walk and stole 2nd. Ramirez and Murton walked to load the bases but DeRosa flied out to center to end the inning. Other than a 2-out single by Jason Marquis in the 6th the offense was very quiet against the Mets excellent bullpen until 2 outs in the 9th when Theriot doubled.

Jason Marquis retired the first 4 he faced before David Wright singled to left with 1-out in the 2nd. Marquis walked Shawn Green but retired Paul Lo Duca and Damion Easley to end the inning. Jose Reyes walked on 4 pitches with 1-out in the 3rd, stole 2nd but Marquis retired Chavez on a fly out to center and struck out Beltran to end the inning. It was clear Marquis was not as sharp as he had been but he was still being effective and recording outs. At that point his scoreless innings streak reached 18 innings.

Carlos Delgado walked to lead off the 4th and David Wright followed with a home run to right that cut the Cubs lead in half. Marquis collected himself and he and Ryan Theriot recorded the next 3 outs (2 ground outs and a pop out to Theriot). In the 6th, Delgado led off the inning and reached on what appeared to be a routine fly out to left. Soriano could not run in to make the catch, his hamstring was obviously bothering him. Wright followed with his 3rd hit of the night to chase Marquis from the game. Will Ohman struck out Shawn Green swinging and Piniella went to the pen for Rocky Cherry. Lo Duca doubled to left to score Delgado and Easley hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Wright to tie the game.

Mark DeRosa was involved in a collision with Endy Chavez in the 5th inning. Chavez attempted to bunt his way on and Marquis threw into the base path, Chavez ran into the hand of DeRosa who grabbed his wrist in pain. According to a report on Cubs.com, DeRosa may be sidelined indefinitely and his status is listed as day to day with a sprained ring finger on his right hand.

Lou Piniella has to figure out a way to change the landscape of his team….and soon.

Carlos Zambrano and his corrected mechanics are scheduled to take the mound in the second game of the series against the Mets best pitcher this season, John Maine.

Update – From Cubs.com….

“The bullpen — we thought that would be the strong point of our pitching staff,” Piniella said. “I haven’t seen it.”

“I’m going to find out if there are some kids down in Triple-A throwing the ball,” Piniella said. “Maybe that’s the answer — get some different kids up here who can throw the ball. I don’t know what else to say. I’ve tried everybody out there. You keep hoping it comes around, but we’re getting into the middle of May now.”

Quote of the Day

"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." – Arthur Ashe