Z Offense Shows Up … Cubs Avoid Zweep – Cubs 10 Phillies 5

Game Ninety-Three – Cubs 10 Phillies 5
WP – Carlos Zambrano (7-4) LP – Jamie Moyer (9-7) Save – Kevin Gregg (19)

wflag.jpgThe Chicago Cubs beat the Philadelphia Phillies at their own game on Wednesday afternoon … and salvaged the last game of the series. The Cubs scored 10 runs on 13 hits without the benefit of a longball behind Carlos Zambrano, who for the first time this season posted his third win in a row.

Carlos Zambrano did his job and stepped up when his team needed a solid start from their ace. Zambrano’s line might not look that good (five runs, four earned, on 10 hits with three walks and seven strikeouts) but he was left in an inning too long and two of the runs he was credited with scored after he left the game. Zambrano was efficient early in his outing before running into trouble in the sixth and seventh innings.

Kevin Gregg once again stepped up with a multi inning save. With the Cubs up by a slim 8-5 margin in the eighth, Gregg replaced Angel Guzman with two on and two out. Gregg walked Chase Utley to load the bases but retired Ryan Howard on a ground out to first to end the inning. Gregg sat down the Phillies in order in the ninth for his 19th save.

The entire lineup contributed to the win on Wednesday and the offense put together one of their better performances of the season. The Cubs scored four runs in the fourth inning on five straight hits and a Phillies error. Then kept tacking on as the game progressed.

Derrek Lee (1-for-3 with a RBI, three walks and two runs scored) led off the fourth with a single to left. Aramis Ramirez (2-for-4 with a double, two walks, two RBI and two runs scored) followed with a single to center. Milton Bradley (2-for-4 with a walk, a run scored and a RBI) loaded the bases with a single to right. Alfonso Soriano (2-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored) drove in the game’s first run with a soft single to center … the first time the Phillies had trailed in a game since July 11.

Jeff Baker delivered the biggest hit of the fourth, a double to left center that plated Ramirez and Bradley. Chase Utley missed the throw from Shane Victorino when he tried to swipe at the sliding Baker, the error allowed Soriano to score and Baker to take third.

Milton Bradley drove in the Cubs’ fifth run, his 22nd RBI, with a single to left in fifth that plated Ryan Theriot (3-for-5 with three stolen bases, two runs scored and a walk).

After the Phillies cut the Cubs’ lead to 5-3 in the sixth, the Cubs offense tacked on three in the seventh with the big hit coming off the bat of Aramis Ramirez, a two-run double to right center. Jake Fox tallied his 20th RBI of the year with a sacrifice fly to complete the scoring in the seventh.

While the Cubs kept hitting on Wednesday, so did the Phillies. They cut the Cubs lead to 8-5 in the seventh before the Cubs were able to add two big runs in the ninth off of Brad Lidge. After Gregg got out of the bases loaded jam in the eighth, the Cubs loaded the bases against Lidge before a Reed Johnson RBI bloop single to right and a bases loaded walk to Derrek Lee.

A day after swinging at virtually everything the Phillies threw near the plate, the Cubs showed a lot of patience on Wednesday and walked nine times. Their plate discipline led to the organization’s first ever defeat of Jamie Moyer.

Wednesday’s win gave the Cubs a 5-2 road trip and Lou Piniella’s crew will spend the off day three games above .500 on the year …

The Cubs avoided their first ever sweep at Citizens Bank Park with a convincing win over the Phillies. It appeared early on the game would be low scoring but that all changed in the fourth.

Derrek Lee led off the inning with a single to left on a 1-0 pitch from Jamie Moyer. Aramis Ramirez singled to center on the first pitch from Moyer. Milton Bradley loaded the bases with a single to right.

Alfonso Soriano delivered the eventual game winner with a single to center on a 1-2 pitch from Moyer. Jeff Baker followed with a double to left center past a diving Jimmy Rollins. Ramirez and Bradley scored easily and Soriano slid in with the fourth run of the inning following the error by Chase Utley.

Ryan Theriot, who set a career high with three stolen bases on Wednesday, led off the fifth with a single to left. Derrek Lee flied out but Theriot stole second on a 1-2 pitch to Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez eventually walked. Bradley then delivered a single into left that plated Theriot with the Cubs’ fifth run.

Ryan Theriot started the three-run seventh with a walk against Chad Durbin. Derrek Lee eventually walked ahead of Ramirez’s double. Ramirez ripped the first pitch from Durbin into right center. The ball rolled to the wall … both Theriot and Lee scored. Milton Bradley walked and Soriano singled to left to load the bases.

After Mike Fontenot was announced as the pinch hitter for Jeff Baker, Scott Eyre came out of the Phillies’ pen to face his former team. Jake Fox pinch-hit for Fontenot and delivered once again. Fox hit a sac fly to left on a 2-2 pitch that plated Ramirez from third. Koyie Hill lined out to third and Carlos Zambrano struck out to end the inning.

The Cubs loaded the bases again in the ninth off of Brad Lidge … and put the game away. Lidge hit Andres Blanco with one out before walking Koyie Hill on four pitches. Kosuke Fukudome singled to right to load the bases. With the infield back, Reed Johnson blooped a single into right that plated Andres Blanco. Ryan Theriot struck out but Derrek Lee walked to force in Koyie Hill with the Cubs tenth run.

Carlos Zambrano pitched out of a jam in the second inning following a one-out walk to Jayson Werth and a single by Greg Dobbs. Pedro Feliz grounded out to first and Paul Bako popped out to short to end the inning.

The Phillies went quietly in the third, outside of a two-out single by Shane Victorino.

After the Cubs gave Zambrano a five run lead in the fourth, Zambrano put together the all-important shutdown inning with a three-up, three down bottom of the fourth.

The Phillies cut into the Cubs lead in the fifth. Pedro Feliz and Paul Bako started the inning with singles and John Mayberry, Jr. loaded the bases with a pinch-hit single. Jimmy Rollins hit what appeared to be a sacrifice fly on a 1-0 offering from Zambrano, but Feliz held on the fly out to center.

With the bases loaded and one out, Shane Victorino hit a grounder to Derrek Lee. Lee forced Mayberry, Jr. at second but the Cubs could not turn the double play and Feliz scored. Zambrano struck out Chase Utley to end the inning.

Ryan Howard led off the sixth with an infield single … the Cubs were in the shift and Jeff Baker’s throw from right field was late, Howard beat the throw. Jayson Werth reached on another infield single, a grounder to the hole at short. Theriot stopped the ball and tried to make a jump throw to second, the throw went into right field … and the Phillies had runners on second and third with no outs down 5-1.

Greg Dobbs struck out looking but Feliz singled to right center and plated Howard and Werth, 5-3 Cubs. Paul Bako was called out on a foul tipped, strike three. Bako did not agree with the call, argued and got his manager kicked out of the game. Zambrano struck out ‘The Professional Hitter‘, Matt Stairs looking to end the inning.

Shane Victorino started the Phillies’ rally in the seventh with a one-out single to right. Chase Utley lined out to a sliding Milton Bradley but Z walked Ryan Howard. Jayson Werth followed with a single to right that loaded the bases … Victorino held at third.

Lou Piniella made the slow walk and brought in Sean Marshall to face Greg Dobbs. Marshall had allowed only one inherited base runner (24 of 25) to score before Wednesday. Dobbs blooped a single down the left field line on a 1-0 pitch. Victorino and Howard scored, 8-5 Cubs and closed the book on Zambrano.

Angel Guzman replaced Marshall and retired Pedro Feliz on a fly out to deep left center to end the inning … with the tying runs on base.

Wednesday’s win ended the trip on a positive note after two rough games in the City of Brotherly Love …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs will spend Thursday’s off day in Chicago before opening a three-game series against the Reds on Friday. Randy Wells is scheduled to face Aaron Harang.

Quote of the Day

"There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments ... " John Lennon/Paul McCartney