Game Fifty-Five – Cubs 7 Brewers 2
WP – Carlos Marmol (1-0) LP – Dave Bush (3-6) Save – None
With the season getting out of hand and the Cubs coming off a 10-1 offensive surge on Sunday, they needed a big win against the Brew-Crew on Monday night. It did not look good early, but with a perfect night at the plate by Alfonso Soriano and a stellar performance by the Cubs pen, end the end there is only one stat that matters and the Cubbies had more runs than the Brewers, which means a “W”. On to the game…. The Cubbies got started right where they left off on Sunday with the hot bats. Alfonso Soriano singled to left and Felix Pie followed with a single to center. Derrek Lee struck out swinging and Aramis Ramirez came through with a double that scored Soriano giving the Cubs the early lead 1-0. Jacque Jones grounded into a fielder’s choice and Pie was out at the plate, one of two mistakes by Pie on the evening, but as time goes on this kid is going to be great. Michael Barrett struck out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 1st you knew it was going to be an interesting night, Jason Marquis did not bring his “A” game. He brought his….this-is-how-I-pitched-last-year-with-the-Cardinals game. With the bases loaded and one out, Estrada grounded into an inning ending double play. The Cubs come up empty in the top half of the 2nd….three up three down. In the bottom half the Cubs were begging the Brewers to score. Geoff Jenkins (someone needs to tell him to trim that goatee, it looks like he has road kill on his face) struck out but reached 1st safely on Barrett’s eighth passed ball of the season. Bill Hall doubled to right and Craig Counsell walked to load the bases with no outs. Dave Bush grounded into a 1-2-3 double play….Marquis to Barrett and then Barrett threw a bullet over to D-Lee for the DP. Aramis then saved two runs from scoring, diving to his left completely extended with his eyes closed….he robbed Corey Hart of a two RBI single. Len Kasper called it the best defensive play of this short season, inning over Brewers don’t score after loading the bases and nobody out. Maybe something has changed, that normally doesn’t happen to our Cubs.
Marquis continued to struggle and allowed the Brewers to take him deep into the count all night. In the bottom of the 3rd, Prince “just shy of three bills” Fielder continued his demolishing act of Major League baseballs. He hit his 20th long ball of the season, this tied the score at 1 a piece. In the top of the 4th, JJ thought he had hit a shot to left field but was robbed by Jenkins on a nice leaping catch at the wall. In the bottom of the inning Marquis was continuing to pitch poorly and was not getting any help from his defense. With runners on 1st and 2nd, Corey Hart hit an infield single to deep short and Hall scored. With runners still on 1st and 2nd, Marquis rebounded, Hardy flied out to center and Braun struck out to end the inning.
After the Cubs went down in order in the top of the 6th, the Brewers threatened in the bottom of the inning and chased Marquis from the game, after recording just one out. Carlos Marmol was left with the task of getting out of the inning with runners on 1st and 3rd with one out. Marmol did the job….he got Hardy to pop out to center and Braun struck out swinging. Ryan Braun, the highly touted Brewer prospect, struck out twice and left 4 runners on base.
The score would remain the same until the top half of the 7th and by the time the inning was over, the Cubs would score 5 runs on 4 hits. But the at bat by Michael Barrett was the key to this inning. He battled with Dave Bush on a 9 pitch at bat and eventually took the free pass. Bush was cruising until Barrett’s at bat. In the 6th, Bush retired the Cubs in order on jut 5 pitches, but Barrett made him work and it paid off. Barrett then stole second, an obvious hit and run but DeRosa almost got hit in the head and didn’t swing. Next pitch Mark DeRosa singled to left, Cesar Izturis then singled to center and Barrett scored, tying the game at two. Cliff Floyd, pinch hitting for Marmol, singled to left and DeRosa scored easily. Alfonso Soriano on a 0-1 count hit a blast to left that made the score 6-2. I don’t know if I have ever seen the Cubs dugout erupt the way it did after Soriano hit that shot to deep left….it was great to see. Soriano went 5-5 for the first time since 2003 and the 3rd time in his career. Pie grounded out to 1st, he didn’t run out of the box on a ball that he thought was foul. D-Lee struck out and Aramis flied out to center to end the inning….Cubs 6 Brewers 2.
The Cubbies would tack on one more in the 9th on a single by D-Lee after a walk by Matt Murton and an infield single by Alfonso Soriano.
The bullpen had their best collective outing of the year and took over the game. Will Ohman, Michael Wuertz and Ryan Dempster all did their job. Wuertz retired five straight batters and Dempster closed out the game with a 7-pitch performance in the 9th. The Cubs are 13-24 with runners in scoring position in the last 2 games….
With Marquis struggling the Cubs found a way to win. If this trend continues this teams future looks pretty good.
Until Next but Always….GO CUBBIES!!!