Squandered….Streak Snapped – Cubs 2 Phillies 5

Game One Hundred Thirty-Six – Cubs 2 Phillies 5
WP – Brett Myers (8-10) LP – Ted Lilly (13-8) Save – Brad Lidge (32)

The Cubs 7-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday afternoon at the hands of Brett Myers. Lou Piniella’s crew lost for only the 20th time this season at Wrigley (51-20) as Ted Lilly was just out pitched by Brett Myers. The Cubs had chances early against Myers and left 7 on base in the first 4 innings but could not come through with a base hit. The Cubs offense managed 11 hits, all singles, and only 1 walk on the afternoon. Geovany Soto gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead with his 79th RBI of the year in the 2nd inning and Aramis Ramirez cut the Phillies lead to 5-2 with his 100th RBI of the season in the 8th….his 45th RBI after the 7th inning.

The Cubs had a chance to tie the game in the 8th inning but J.C. Romero struck out Geovany Soto with the bases loaded to end the inning. Romero made sure everyone watching the game both in the park and on TV knew exactly how felt following the called third strike.

Ted Lilly pitched a good game and made only a few mistakes on the afternoon. Jayson Werth drove in all 3 runs Lilly surrendered with a home run in the 5th and a 2-out, 2-run double in the 6th, the eventual game winner. Lilly hit two batters, and the biggest came in the 6th on a 0-2 pitch to Shane Victorino. The Phillies centerfielder took one for the team that loaded the bases for Werth….Ted Lilly said after the game he thought Victorino leaned out over the plate.

For the first time in the series the Cubs bullpen gave up runs late, which proved to be the difference. Neal Cotts served up solo home runs in the 8th to Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth.

To use the oldest baseball cliche of all-time, you can’t win ‘em all. The Cubs lost for only the seventh time this month (20-7) and will still own the best record in baseball at the end of the day….

Brett Myers had the Cubs number once again. He threw a ton of strikes (107 pitches, 80 strikes) and the Cubs only walked one time on the afternoon….none against Myers in 7+ innings. Myers struck out 8 and the Cubs offense managed to end his scoreless innings streak. Myers gave up his fair share of hits but came through with the big pitch when he needed it. If the Cubs face Myers again this season, they must have a different game plan going in and try to get into his head and rattle him. They were unable to do so on Saturday and once Jayson Werth gave his team the lead Myers went into cruise control. Myers retired 11 in a row until a lead off single by Ryan Theriot in the 8th.

The game had another controversial call, and missed call, at 1st base on Saturday afternoon. The call went the Cubs way on Friday but Saturday it went the Phillies way. Mark DeRosa led off the 4th inning with an infield single to the hole at short. Kosuke Fukudome grounded into a 5-4 fielder’s choice. Geovany Soto singled to right center and with runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out, Ted Lilly stepped in.

Lilly dropped down the bunt up the 1st base line, Ryan Howard picked up the ball and appeared to tag Lilly has he ran by. Lilly was called safe and it was ruled Howard missed the tag. The call was reversed and instead of the bases being loaded with 1-out for Alfonso Soriano, it became 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs and Soriano grounded out to short to end the inning. Replays showed Lilly was not tagged….

The Cubs first run came in the 2nd inning. Mark DeRosa reached on a 1-out single to center. Kosuke Fukudome bunted and with runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out, Geovany Soto singled to center on a 0-2 pitch from Brett Myers. DeRosa scored to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead.

With the Cubs down 5-1 in the 8th, Ryan Theriot led off with a single to center. Derrek Lee followed with his third hit of the day, a single to center that bounced off both Myers and Chase Utley’s glove. Aramis Ramirez delivered a solid single to center to plate Theriot. Charlie Manuel (after more long conferences) brought in lefty J.C. Romero to face Jim Edmonds.

Lou Piniella countered with Reed Johnson and after a horrible call on strike one, Johnson looked at three straight out of the strike zone. Romero came back with strike two and Reed chased the 3-2 offering (it was ball four) and struck out for the first out. Ronny Cedeno pinch hit for Neal Cotts and remained ineffective at the plate….Cedeno struck out for the second time in two days at a pivotal point in a game. Kosuke Fukudome walked to load the bases….the first and only free pass on the afternoon for the Cubs. After another conference, Geovany Soto stepped in and fell behind 0-2 before taking ball one. Another brief conference followed and Soto ended up looking at strike three to end the inning. Romero made a reaction that would make Jose Valverde jealous….

The Cubs left 9 runners on base and finished 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position….the two very telling stats of the day.

Carlos Zambrano will attempt to get through his dead arm period on Sunday against the ageless wonder Jamie Moyer in the series and season finale with the Phillies.

Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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