Game Eighty-Five – Cubs 6 Giants 5
WP – Carlos Marmol (2-3, BS 2) LP – Tyler Walker (3-4) Save – Kerry Wood (21)
The Chicago Cubs picked up their first win of July in dramatic fashion. After building a 5-2 lead going into the bottom of the 7th off of a 2-run home run by Jim Edmonds in the 6th and a 2-out, 2-run single by Geovany Soto in the top of the inning, the Giants tied the game with one swing of the bat.
Carlos Marmol struck out the first two batters he faced on 6 pitches but walked pinch hitter Travis Denker and gave up a single to right on a 0-1 pitch to Fred Lewis. Ray Durham stepped in and launched the first pitch from Marmol, a high fastball, just over the wall in right to tie the game.
Tyler Walker retired Matt Murton to start the 8th but fell behind Mike Fontenot 3-1. Fontenot hit the next pitch from Walker over the right field wall to give the Cubs a 1-run lead. Bobby Howry retired the Giants in order in the 8th and the Cubs could not add to their lead in the 9th.
Kerry Wood sat down the first two batters he faced with a ground out to third and a swinging strikeout by Bengie Molina on a 98 MPH fastball. Jose Castillo pinch hit for Keiichi Yabu and recorded his first hit of the season off the bench….a triple to right center near the 421′ sign, the deepest part of the park. Fred Lewis looked at strike one, swung at strike two and looked at ball one. Wood was throwing heat but dropped an 82 MPH curveball in for strike three to end the game.
The Cubs picked up a big win on a night Ryan Dempster was in line for his first road victory. Lou Piniella’s crew improved to 2-4 on the current road trip with one left in San Francisco and three in St. Louis over the weekend against the Redbirds. Ryan Dempster rebounded nicely from his worst start of the year. Dempster struggled with his command from time to time and walked 2 on the night. Dempster pitched from behind in the count and the best word to describe his performance on Wednesday would be inconsistent. Dempster struck out Aaron Rowand to get out of a bases loaded jam in the 3rd and totaled 7 k’s in 6 innings with 5 hits and 2 runs allowed. His only mistake was a 1-1 pitch to John Bowker in the 6th that he tattooed over the wall in right….it was a splash down hit and landed into McCovey Cove.
The Cubs first run of the game came in the 2nd inning after Jim Edmonds worked a lead off walk. Mark DeRosa recorded the Cubs first hit, a single to right. Edmonds advanced to 3rd on the play and scored on a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Matt Murton.
Kevin Correia stifled the Cubs offense until the 6th inning. He threw strikes and they did not make him work.
Geovany Soto (2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and 2 RBI’s) doubled down the left field line with 1 out in the 6th inning. Jim Edmonds followed and worked the count to 3-2 before hitting a deep fly to left. Edmonds 9th home run (8th as a Cub) of the season just cleared the wall in left and gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead.
The Cubs responded to the Giants 2-run 6th with a 2-run 7th inning.
Kosuke Fukudome lined a 1-out single to center that chased Correia from the game. Ryan Theriot was plunked in the ribs on a 1-2 pitch from Sergio Romo that put runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. Theriot went to the ground in pain but remained in the game. Derrek Lee (1-for-5) worked the count to 3-2, Piniella started the runners but Lee looked at strike three. Fukudome and Theriot executed the double steal without a throw. Geovany Soto hit a 2-1 pitch into left center that plated both Fukudome and Theriot….5-2 Cubs.
Carlos Marmol made his first appearance since Saturday against the Sox and dominated the first two hitters he faced. But he lost the strike zone against Travis Denker and walked him on 5 pitches. Did Marmol just lose his focus against the pinch-hitter? Marmol did retire Randy Winn to end the inning after serving up the home run to Ray Durham. Carlos Marmol is a big part of this team and Lou Piniella has to get him back on track.
The Cubs pulled out the type of win on the road that has been a loss of late. They found a way to win and improved to 13-13 on the season in 1-run games.
Sean Gallagher will face Tim Lincecum in the finale on Thursday evening with Aramis Ramirez and Reed Johnson back in the fold.