Game One Hundred Twenty-Six – Cubs 1 Reds 2
WP – Bronson Arroyo (11-10) LP – Ted Lilly (12-7) Save – Francisco Cordero (24)
Ted Lilly lost his first game since July 10th, ironically enough against the Reds, despite throwing a gem and dropped to 0-3 versus Cincinnati this season. Lilly retired the first 10 batters he faced and did not give up a hit until a lead off double by Ryan Hanigan in the 6th on a 0-2 pitch. Lilly allowed only 2 runs on 2 hits with 2 walks and 7 strikeouts in 7 innings of work. The Reds drove in both runs without a hit and a wild pitch on a swinging strike three led to the tying run in the 6th. Cubs pitching surrendered only 4 hits and 2 walks.
The Cubs lone run came in the 2nd inning on a RBI single to center by Mark DeRosa and they left 5 runners on base in the first 4 innings. Lou Piniella’s crew had plenty of opportunities early but after the 4th inning managed just one runner, a 2-out walk by Geovany Soto in the 7th inning.
Bronson Arroyo recorded 13 ground ball outs, including 2 inning ending double plays in the 3rd and 4th innings. The Cubs managed only 3 hits, all singles, to go along with 5 walks but Arroyo gained confidence as the game progressed and he returned to the form that dominated the Cubs a few seasons ago.
The loss on Wednesday night was just the Cubs 18th of the year at Wrigley, a rare defeat on a night they simply did not have it…. For the second night in a row both starting pitchers dominated the game but on Wednesday night the ball did not bounce the Cubs way. The typically patient Cubs offense began swinging early and often after the 4th inning and the game lasted only 2 hours and 28 minutes. The Cubs key to success this season has been making the opposition work and they stopped making Bronson Arroyo throw a lot of pitches after the 4th inning.
When a pitcher and a team loses a game without giving up a hit that scored the tying and winning runs, it is not their night. The Cubs were up 1-0 going into the 6th and Ted Lilly had allowed only one runner, a walk to Jeff Keppinger in the 4th, and was ahead in the count 0-2 to Ryan Hanigan.
Hanigan doubled and advanced to 3rd after Lilly recorded his 7th strikeout of the game. Lilly retired Arroyo for the first out and then struck out Chris Dickerson on a ball in the dirt, but it got away from Geovany Soto and the wild pitch put runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out. Mark DeRosa made a great play to rob Jeff Keppinger of a single to right but the Cubs could not turn the double play and Hanigan scored the tying run on a fielder’s choice.
The Reds’ second run came in the 7th inning after a bloop double to left by Edwin Encarnacion. Joey Votto advanced him to 3rd on a ground out to DeRosa and Jolbert Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly to left that plated Encarnacion with the eventual winning run.
After the game the reports indicated the team was stunned they lost a game at Wrigley….and with the loss, fell to 17-19 in 1-run games.
Wednesday night was one of those games where one team did not have it and the other had a pitcher on the mound at the top of his game….plain and simple.
Carlos Zambrano will try to win the rubber game of the series on Wednesday afternoon against Josh Fogg in the Reds last game of the season at Wrigley Field.