Derailed by the D-Train

Game One Hundred Fifty-Seven – Cubs 2 Marlins 4
WP – Dontrelle Willis (10-15) LP – Ted Lilly (15-8) Save – Taylor Tankersley (1)

Dontrelle Willis pitched his best game of the year, unfortunately it came at the Cubs expense. The one-time Cubs farmhand dominated Lou Piniella’s crew and ended their 4-game winning streak. Willis allowed only 2 runs on 2 hits in 8 innings with 7 strikeouts and 3 walks. He faced just 1 over the minimum in the first 6 innings, thanks to two more double plays. Willis became the Marlins all-time strikeout leader with 754 when he struck out Alfonso Soriano in the 6th inning. Craig Monroe hit his first home run as a Cub in the 8th to account for both of the runs against Willis.

Ted Lilly did not have his usual command and remains winless against the Marlins. Lilly gave up 4 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings with 5 strikeouts and 1 walk. He did set a new career high in strikeouts with 173 in the loss. Lilly had one bad inning. All 4 runs came in the 2nd after two singles, two bloop singles, a sacrifice fly and a ground rule double. Lilly gave up 2 more hits after the 4-run 2nd. Michael Wuertz pitched 2 perfect innings of relief with 3 strikeouts and Kevin Hart pitched a scoreless 9th, he allowed only 1 hit.

Aramis Ramirez was ejected in the 9th for arguing balls and strikes. The Cubs offense was cooled off after lighting up the scoreboard at Wrigley over the weekend. They managed only 3 hits and 7 total baserunners in 9 innings. The Cubs lost their 8th game in a row to the Florida Marlins and in the process lost a game in the standings. The Cubs have a 2 game lead with 5 to play…. This game came down to one inning and a very good player delivering his best performance of the season….against the team that drafted him. Dontrelle Willis has been a thorn in the Cubs’ side for years, and he was once again on Tuesday night. Willis made all the right pitches, worked very quickly and found a rhythm in the 1st inning. Willis has been struggling with his command all year, just not against the Cubs. Ryan Theriot recorded the first Cubs’ hit in the 3rd inning and they did not manage another until Craig Monroe went deep in the 8th….Derrek Lee added a single in the 9th off of Lee Gardner.

Ted Lilly gave up back-to-back seeing-eye singles to Todd Linden and Brett Carroll with 1-out in the 2nd. Dontrelle Willis followed with a bloop single into to right center that landed between Mark DeRosa and Matt Murton to load the bases. Hanley Ramirez then drove in a run with another bloop single into right field just out of the reach of DeRosa and in front of a sliding Murton….it is a game of inches. Dan Uggla followed with a sacrifice fly to right, Carroll scored and both runners moved up 90′. Jeremy Hermida then hit a ground rule double to right center….the ball bounced over the wall, both runs scored, 4-0 Marlins. Willis would not need any other support.

The Cubs hit into two double plays after walks. Alfonso Soriano struck out 3 times….all three ended innings, 3rd, 6th and 8th innings. Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez were a combined 1-for-8.

Wednesday is a new day….but, the Chicago Cubs have to figure out the Florida Marlins, sooner rather than later. While Dontrelle Willis did have his best outing of the year, Lou Piniella has to have his team ready to play and win on Wednesday night. Whether it was Willis’ pitching or the Cubs hitting is up for debate, it is time for the Cubs to stop tipping their cap.

Jason Marquis is scheduled to take the mound on Wednesday against rookie right hander, Daniel Barone.