Game One Hundred Forty-Five – Cubs 4 Brewers 7
WP – Dave Bush (5-7) LP – Randy Wells (10-9) Save – Trevor Hoffman (33)
For those that thought the Cubs still had a chance at post-season play, Thursday’s loss should have erased all hope. The Cubs completed their penultimate homestand of the year with back-to-back losses to the Brewers … and finished with a 4-3 record in the last seven games.
What had been the strength of the 2009 version of the Chicago Cubs, the starting staff, had a rough final three games and appear out of gas.
Randy Wells had one of his worst outings of the year. Wells walked a season-high five batters (one intentional) in four innings and three of them scored. Wells needs to be shutdown for the remainder of the year because this team is going no where past October 4 … but home.
Randy Wells struggled from his first pitch of the ballgame. Wells walked the first two batters he faced before giving up a single to Ryan Braun to load the bases. After striking out Prince Fielder, Mike Cameron hit a sacrifice fly to left center that gave the Brewers a one-run lead. Wells retired Mat Gamel to end the first … but the handwriting was on the wall.
The Cubs took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first. Five of the first six Cubs’ reached base against Dave Bush. The Cubs tied the game at one when Derrek Lee grounded into a 5-4-3 double play that allowed Ryan Theriot to score.
Jeff Baker delivered a two-out RBI single to right that plated Jake Fox with the go ahead run.
Randy Wells settled down until the fourth inning. Wells retired the first two batters he faced in the fourth before walking Alcides Escobar. Dave Bush followed with a single and Wells walked Felipe Lopez to load the bases.
Former Cub-for-a-minute, Jody Gerut stepped in and ripped a 2-2 pitch into the bleachers in right. Gerut’s grand slam gave the Brewers a 5-2 lead and proved to be the game winner.
Micah Hoffpauir delivered a pinch-hit two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the fourth that cut the Brewers lead to 5-4. The Cubs offense could not get any closer and they allowed the Brewers’ pen to retire the last nine batters in order to end the game.
Milton Bradley took himself out of the game following a leadoff single to start the sixth. Reports during the game indicated Bradley left with knee inflammation.
Mike Rivera put the game away in the seventh off of Esmailin Caridad. Rivera delivered a two-out, two-run double that gave the Brewers a 7-4 lead. Six of the seven runs the Brewers scored against the Cubs on Thursday afternoon were on two-out hits.
The Milwaukee Brewers won for only the third time this season at Wrigley (3-5) and Dave Bush posted his second career win against the Cubs … his first at the Friendly Confines. With the loss, the Cubs find themselves just five games over .500 with 17 left to play … Randy Wells has already surpassed his career high in innings pitched in a single season … and on Thursday it showed. Wells struggled with his command and left after just four innings.
One of the main reasons Wells has been so successful this season has been his ability to get out of jams. In other words, he would bend but would seldom break … on Thursday he broke.
Randy Wells escaped the first inning with allowing only one run after loading the bases with no outs. Wells walked Felipe Lopez and Jody Gerut on nine pitches. Ryan Braun followed with a single to left … bases loaded for Prince Fielder.
With the infield back, Prince Fielder worked the count to 3-2 before striking out. Mike Cameron fell behind 0-1 before hitting a sacrifice fly into left center. Lopez scored, 1-0 Brewers. With two on and two out, Mat Gamel popped out to second to end the inning.
Wells sat down the Brewers in order in the second after his offense gave him a 2-1 lead.
Felipe Lopez led off the third with a single to left but Koyie Hill picked him off first with Gerut at the plate. Gerut grounded out to second. Ryan Braun blooped a double down the right field line and Prince Fielder was intentionally walked with two outs. Mike Cameron lined out to Ryan Theriot to end the inning.
The fourth inning would not be as kind. After Mike Fontenot made a nice defensive play on a ball hit into shallow center by Mat Gamel, Mike Rivera tapped out. Randy Wells walked Alcides Escobar with two outs and the bases empty.
The light hitting Dave Bush followed with a single to left on the first pitch. Felipe Lopez walked and Jody Gerut basically ended the game with his grand slam.
After Wells was lifted, the Cubs pen did a good job keeping the Brewers off the board … until the seventh.
Tom Gorzelanny took over for Aaron Heilman and walked Ryan Braun with one out. Prince Fielder struck out but Mike Cameron singled to left on a 2-2 pitch with two outs.
Casey McGehee was announced and Piniella went to the pen for Esmailin Caridad. Caridad hit McGehee on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. Mike Rivera doubled to left on a 0-2 pitch and gave the Brewers a commanding three-run lead …
Ryan Theriot led off the bottom of the first with a single to left. Kosuke Fukudome ended a 0-for-23 slump with a bunt single up the third base line. Theriot stole third with Derrek Lee at the plate. Lee ended up grounding into a 5-4-3 double play but Theriot scored and tied the game.
Jake Fox followed with an infield single. Dave Bush hit Milton Bradley on the first pitch. With runners on first and second with two outs, Jeff Baker singled to right on a 2-2 pitch. Fox scored, 2-1 Cubs. Mike Fontenot struck out swinging to end the inning.
After Gerut’s slam, Jeff Baker reached on a one-out single to right in the bottom of the fourth. Mike Fontenot singled to center. Koyie Hill struck out looking but Micah Hoffpauir delivered a pinch-hit double to right on a 3-2 pitch. Baker and Fontenot scored … 5-4 Brewers.
The Cubs last chance came in the sixth down by a run. Milton Bradley led off with a single to right. Bradley left the game and was replaced by Bobby Scales. Jeff Baker grounded out to third, Scales advanced to second and Mike Fontenot walked. Koyie Hill struck out against Dave Bush.
Piniella went to his bench for Aramis Ramirez down by one run. Ken Macha countered and brought in Todd Coffey. Ramirez worked the count to 3-2 before flying out to right center to end the inning.
The Cubs were retired in order to end the game … nine up and nine down.
Ted Lilly will face John Smoltz in the first of three against the Cardinals on Friday night.