Game One Hundred-Thirteen – Cubs 1 Phillies 6
WP – Cliff Lee (10-9) LP – Ryan Dempster (6-6) Save – None
The Cubs lost their fifth game in a row and finished what Lou Piniella called an important seven-game stretch with a 1-6 record. The Cubs also completed the season-series with the World Champs with a 1-5 mark. They displayed inning after inning how much improvement must be made in order to just catch-up. The Cubs have not won a season series against the Phillies since 2001.
Ryan Dempster began the game on a positive note. Dempster surrendered just one hit the first time through the lineup but that all changed in the fourth inning.
A single by Shane Victorino and a walk to Chase Utley put two on with no outs ahead of Ryan Howard. Howard gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead with a little help from the wind. Howard launched his 27th of the year into the bleachers in left. Two batters later Pedro Feliz added his ninth longball of the year, a solo shot to left … and with the way Cliff Lee was pitching, a 4-0 lead would be more than enough for the Phillies to leave town with a victory.
Ryan Dempster hung around and completed seven innings of work. Dempster gave up six runs on eight hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. While Dempster struggled, Cliff Lee was sitting down one batter after the other.
The Cubs managed only one run on six hits in eight innings against Cliff Lee. Lee improved to 3-0 in a Phillies’ uniform. He walked three and struck out eight. The Cubs lone RBI of the game, a one-out single to center in the fifth by Ryan Theriot that plated Jeff Baker.
Ryan Theriot set a new-career high in RBI with his 46th on Thursday afternoon.
Jeff Baker reached base in all four trips to the plate. Baker finished 2-for-2 with a double, a run scored and two walks.
Justin Berg made his big league debut on Thursday. He walked a batter and gave up two hits in two innings of work with a strikeout. Berg threw strikes (27 pitches, 16 for strikes), a rarity of late for the Cubs’ bullpen.
The Cubs could not take advantage of Cliff Lee’s control problems in the second inning. Lee walked two and gave up a single to Jake Fox but Ryan Dempster struck out swinging with the bases loaded to end the inning. Lee threw 122 pitches in eight innings, 82 for strikes and dominated the Cubs lineup after the second inning.
With the loss, the Cubs lost a half game in the standings to the Cardinals and will enter play on Friday 4 1/2 back of St. Louis in the division … The Cubs managed only six hits and finished the game 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. The lack of offense has begun affecting the pitching staff. Dempster appeared to be searching for the perfect pitch while the offense continued to search for runs on Thursday.
The Phillies four-run fourth put the game out of reach … and the tack on runs in the sixth and seventh innings just added insult to injury.
Ryan Howard walked to start the sixth inning, stole second and scored on a single to left by Pedro Feliz.
The last run of the game came in the seventh inning. Shane Victorino blooped a double into left on a ball misplayed by Alfonso Soriano. Chase Utley singled to center but was caught trying to advance to second on the throw to the plate to end the inning.
Friday is a new day ….
Randy Wells will face Charlie Morton in the first of three against the Pirates on Friday afternoon.