Not Werth A…. – Cubs 3 Phillies 5

Game One Hundred Thirty-Seven – Cubs 3 Phillies 5
WP – Jamie Moyer (12-7) LP – Sean Marshall (3-4) Save – Brad Lidge (33)

Jayson Werth was the difference for the second day in a row as the Cubs lost back-to-back games for the first time since July 25th and July 26th. Werth added to his 2 home run, 4 RBI game on Saturday with another home run and 3 more runs batted in on Sunday….3 home runs and 7 RBI’s in two games for the Phillies right fielder. Lou Piniella revealed in his post-game press conference that the decision to push Carlos Zambrano back came on Saturday night and for one of the rare times this season Sean Marshall could not come through when asked.

Marshall gave up 3 runs in the 1st inning, all with 2 outs, and left with 1-out in the 6th after surrendering 5 runs on 9 hits with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. Jeff Samardzija allowed his fourth inherited runner to score in relief of Marshall. Bobby Howry and Neal Cotts did not allow the Phillies to tack on but the Cubs could not mount another comeback.

For the second day in a row the Cubs offense got their hits, but they were all singles and left a total of 10 on base….six by Alfonso Soriano alone. In the last 18 innings the Cubs offense has totaled 22 hits, all singles, with 3 walks and only 5 runs. Ronny Cedeno, Sean Marshall and Henry Blanco drove in the three runs on the afternoon. While Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano were 1-for-14 with a walk….the ‘Big Three‘ must start producing on a consistent basis down the stretch.

Sunday’s loss was the Cubs 21st of the season at Wrigley and coupled with the Brewers win in Pittsburgh the Cubs lead in the division is down to 4 1/2 games. As Lou Piniella has stated repeatedly over the past few weeks, the Cubs have a lot of work to do and have not won anything yet. The Cubs ended their consecutive series winning streak with the split against the Phillies, 9-0-2 in the last 11 series. The Cubs completed the season series against the Phillies with a losing record, 3-4.

Lou Piniella’s crew finished a very good month with two disappointing losses but still managed an impressive 20-8 record….

The Phillies jumped on Sean Marshall in the 1st inning after a 4-pitch walk by Chase Utley. Marshall struck out Pat Burrell but with Utley at second after a stolen base, Ryan Howard drove in the game’s first run with a hard single to right past the shift. It was the third game of the series the Phillies scored in the 1st inning.

Shane Victorino followed with a single to right and with 2 outs Jayson Werth doubled to left to plate both Howard and Victorino. Marshall got out of the inning without further damage but created a huge hole his team was not able to dig out of.

The Cubs cut the Phillies lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the 2nd. Mark DeRosa led off with a single to center. Geovany Soto followed with a single to left and Kosuke Fukudome grounded into a 4-6 fielder’s choice. With runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out, the Cubs caught a break. Ronny Cedeno hit a high fly ball into left center, Victorino lost the ball in the sun and DeRosa scored on what was ruled a single.

With runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out, Sean Marshall stepped in with an obvious sacrifice bunt attempt. Marshall squared but pulled the bat back and singled up the middle to drive in Kosuke with the Cubs second run. With runners on 1st and 3rd with 1-out and down by only one run, Alfonso Soriano popped out to shallow center for the second out. Reed Johnson followed with a fly out to right to end the inning.

Sean Marshall worked his way out of a 1st and 3rd with no outs in the 3rd inning but gave up a solo home run with 2 outs on a 1-2 pitch to Jayson Werth in the 5th. With the Cubs struggling at the plate against Jamie Moyer that appeared to be all the Phillies would need to salvage the split in the 4-game series.

The Phillies tacked on another run in the 6th after a leadoff double by Carlos Ruiz, a sacrifice bunt by Jamie Moyer and a sacrifice fly to left by Jimmy Rollins off Jeff Samardzija.

The Cubs cut the lead to 5-3 in the 8th following a 1-out single by Geovany Soto. Soto advanced to 3rd on a groundout by Fukudome and scored on a single to left by Henry Blanco. Daryle Ward pinch hit for Ryan Theriot and delivered a single into left with 2 outs. With the tying runs on base, Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging to end the inning.

Brad Lidge dominated the Cubs in the 9th, 3 up 3 down on 8 pitches, to end the game….

Lou Piniella sounded incredibly frustrated and aggravated in his post-game press conference. With the difficult month ahead the Cubs needed to win one of the final two games of the series after winning the first two. Sean Marshall took responsibility for the loss. While Marshall was not sharp, the players that are paid to perform must pick it up in September….this season is far from over.

The Cubs open a 3-game series on Monday afternoon against the red-hot Houston Astros. The ‘Stros completed a 3-game sweep of the Cardinals on Sunday and will come to Chicago winners of 5 in a row. Jason Marquis will face Roy Oswalt in the opener.

Quote of the Day

"Sometimes you have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting and just have faith that things will work out." - Steve Jobs
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