Pressing?

Game One Hundred Fifty-Eight – Cubs 4 Marlins 7
WP – Logan Kensing (2-0) LP – Jason Marquis (12-9) Save – Lee Gardner (2)

Lou Piniella said on his pre-game show, “We came into the series with three mulligans and now we have two.” After another poor performance against the Marlins, that number was almost reduced to one. But the Cardinals put a win on the board at Miller Park after a 4-run 8th inning and Lou Piniella’s crew was given a gift from an unlikely source. The Cubs were able to maintain their 2-game lead in the division, but hopefully the loss on Wednesday night will serve as a wakeup call for the last 4 games of the season.

The Cubs scored all 4 of their runs in the first 4 innings. Jacque Jones drove in 3 with a 2-run single in the 2nd and a sacrifice fly in the 4th that tied the game. Derrek Lee hit his 21st home run of the year in the 3rd. Seven Marlins’ relievers combined on a 3-hit shutout over the final 5 1/3 innings without a walk.

Jason Marquis struggled once again but it was an error by Mark DeRosa that led to the 3-run 2nd inning. Marquis allowed the lead off hitter to reach in 3 of the 5 innings he pitched. He gave up 5 runs, 4 earned, on 9 hits. Lou Piniella left him in a batter too long in the 5th. Todd Linden doubled with 2-outs and scored the winning run on a single by Matt Treanor. After a perfect 6th inning, Carlos Marmol gave up a 2-run home run to Miguel Cabrera in the 7th, it was the 3rd longball given up by Marmol this season.

The Cubs lost their 9th straight game to the Marlins and dropped to 8 games above .500 on the season with 4 left to play.

The Cubs have played the past two games like they started the season, poor fundamentals, little to no patience at the plate and trying to make something happen that is just not there. Mark DeRosa’s error in the 2nd and Alfonso Soriano being doubled off first base are the biggest examples. Replays did show Soriano appeared to be safe, but he put himself in “no man’s land” and must make sure those hits go through. First and third would be great, but 2 outs and nobody on with the heart of the lineup due up….it’s just bad baserunning.

Mark DeRosa tried to make a great play out of a routine one and that cost his pitcher an inning ending double play. Matt Treanor and Alejandro De Aza led off the 2nd with singles. Daniel Barone struck out on his third bunt attempt. Hanley Ramirez followed with a chopper to 2nd. DeRosa tried to make a shuffle throw to Theriot for the double play, but his throw went wide. Treanor scored, De Aza advanced to 3rd and Ramirez was safe at 1st. Marquis then walked Dan Uggla to load the bases. Jeremy Hermida followed with a bloop single that landed just fair down the 3rd base line. De Aza and Ramirez scored but Alfonso Soriano threw out Hermida trying to stretch the single into a double. Marquis struck out Miguel Cabrera to end the inning.

DeRosa has to make sure of one first and hope for the double play later. DeRosa was trying to make something happen instead of just playing the game the way he typically does….the right way.

Jason Marquis struggled from his first pitch of the game. He gave up a lead off single to Hanley Ramirez. He promptly stole 2nd with Dan Uggla at the plate. Uggla walked but Miguel Cabrera singled to center to score Ramirez with the first run of the game. Marquis threw 24 pitches in the 1st inning.

After the Cubs took the lead in the top of the 2nd, Marquis allowed the back-to-back singles start the inning before eventually giving up 3 runs on 3 hits with a walk and an error.

Marquis gave up a lead off single to Robert Andino in the 4th but settled down and retired the next 5 batters he faced. Todd Linden doubled and Piniella made a visit to the mound. Piniella left Marquis in to face Treanor. Treanor appeared to hit a double off the left field wall but Soriano threw him out at 2nd to end the inning.

Carlos Marmol was simply nasty in the 6th. He retired Uggla to start the 7th before giving up a double to Hermida. Miguel Cabrera followed with a monster home run to left field.

It appeared very early the game would be decided by the bullpens. After Daniel Barone retired the Cubs in order in the 1st inning on only 10 pitches, the Cubs were a little more patient in the 2nd. Cliff Floyd walked to start the inning but was erased on a great play by Uggla on a grounder up the middle by Aramis Ramirez. Floyd was forced at 2nd, Ramirez was safe at 1st and advanced on a double to left by Mark DeRosa….the Cubs first hit of the game. Jacque Jones followed with a single to center to plate both runs. Jason Kendall flied out to left and Marquis lined out to left to end the inning.

Alfonso Soriano led off the 3rd with a single to left. Ryan Theriot followed with a soft liner to Uggla. Uggla doubled off Soriano….the replays showed Soriano was safe. Derrek Lee followed with a 452′ home run to centerfield. Cliff Floyd walked, Ramirez grounded out to short to end the inning….those double plays.

Mark DeRosa tripled to lead off the 4th. Jacque Jones hit a sacrifice fly to left to tie the game at 4.

Derrek Lee was hit by a pitch with 2 outs in the 5th. Floyd followed with a single to right. Aramis Ramirez struck out and then Mark DeRosa stepped in and hit what appeared to be a home run to left, but Todd Linden caught it at the wall to end the inning.

Cliff Floyd and Daryle Ward added doubles late but did not advance.

The Cubs appear very tight and must relax on Thursday afternoon….remember, it’s just a game, right?

Steve Trachsel is scheduled to face Scott Olsen in the series finale on Thursday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy

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