Game One Hundred Forty – Cubs 5 Reds 7
WP – Arthur Rhodes (1-1) LP – Carlos Marmol (2-3) Save – Francisco Cordero (34)
The Cubs’ four-game winning streak came to an end Saturday afternoon after an ugly start, a great comeback and a ‘wild‘ ninth inning for Carlos Marmol. Between the Cubs three errors in the third inning, horrible defense behind Randy Wells and both walks in the ninth scoring against Carlos Marmol, the Reds did not win the game … the Cubs gave another one away.
The Reds jumped out to a 5-0 lead after four innings against Randy Wells. The Reds scored two runs in the third, both unearned, due to three infield errors … one each by Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Ryan Theriot. The Reds tacked on three more against Wells in the fourth before he was lifted with two outs after walking Scott Rolen and forcing in the Reds’ fifth run. The Cubs defense let down Wells in the fourth as well and while there was not an error handed out, poor plays by Ryan Theriot and Derrek Lee led to the short outing by Wells.
The Cubs finally recorded their second hit of the game in the sixth inning and scored three runs against Johnny Cueto before Dusty Baker lifted him. Aramis Ramirez drove in the Cubs first run of the game with his 55th RBI of the year (tied for second on the team in only 67 games). The big hit in the sixth, the first of two run scoring doubles by Geovany Soto.
Geovany Soto tied the game at five with his second double of the game in the seventh. Soto delivered a clutch two-out hit and if not for a perfect relay by Paul Janish, Aramis Ramirez would have scored the go ahead run. Mike Quade sent Ramirez with two outs after Derrek Lee scored to tie the game. Drew Stubbs made a perfect throw to Janish who cut down Ramirez at the plate on a close play to end the inning.
Carlos Marmol has been perfect in save opportunities (8-for-8) after being named the Cubs’ closer. Marmol took the mound in the ninth with the game tied at five and gave up a single to center by Brandon Phillips on a 1-2 pitch. Scott Rolen grounded into a 6-3 double play, then ‘Wild Marmol‘ made another appearance.
Jonny Gomes walked after two close pitches with two outs and the bases empty. Kevin Barker hit for Arthur Rhodes and walked to put two on with two outs. Dusty Baker went to his bench again, this time for the .176 hitting Drew Sutton. Sutton lined a double down the right field line on a 1-1 pitch, Gomes and Barker scored the go ahead runs. Marmol then hit his 12th batter of the year (one off the big league lead for all pitchers) before striking out Drew Stubbs looking to end the inning.
Saturday’s game was yet another reflection of the entire Cubs’ season …
Wells retired the Reds in order to start the game and did not allow his first hit until the horrible third inning.
Corky Miller led off the third with a single to right. Johnny Cueto dropped down a sac bunt that Derrek Lee fielded then dropped when he looked to second. Cueto beat out Lee’s throw to first … error number one.
On a 3-2 pitch from Randy Wells, Drew Stubbs hit a routine grounder to Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez tried to throw to second, instead of stepping on third, hit Miller in the head with the ball. The ball ended up in the stands behind the Cubs’ dugout and the two-base error (number two) allowed the Reds to score the first run of the game.
With runners on second and third with no outs, Darnell McDonald hit a sharp grounder to Ryan Theriot. Theriot threw home and nailed Cueto at the plate for the first out of the inning. Joey Votto then hit a grounder to Derrek Lee. Lee threw to Theriot covering second but Theriot dropped the ball … the third error of the inning.
The three errors in third inning were the most in a single inning for the Cubs since August 18, 2006 against the Cardinals. The three errors also tied a season-high, or low, for the Cubs.
Brandon Phillips singled to center on a 0-2 pitch. Stubbs scored, 2-0 Reds. Scott Rolen popped out to short and Jonny Gomes flied out to right to end the inning. For all that went wrong in the third, Randy Wells did an excellent job of keeping the ball down and limiting the damage.
Adam Rosales singled off Randy Wells to start the fourth … the ball hit Wells and ended up in right field . After Corky Miller popped out, Johnny Cueto sacrificed Rosales to second with two outs. Drew Stubbs reached on an infield single … a routine ball hit toward the middle that Theriot fielded but could not make a strong enough throw to end the inning.
Darnell McDonald then singled to center past Ryan Theriot. The ball was just out of his reach but one a big league shortstop must make a play on. Rosales scored … 3-0, Reds.
Joey Votto was credited with an infield single but the ball was hit off of Derrek Lee’s glove … a play Lee has made a hundred times in his career. Lee could not back hand the ball and Stubbs scored the Reds’ fourth run.
Randy Wells then lost his command. Brandon Phillips walked to load the bases … with two outs. Wells could not find the strike zone against Scott Rolen and ended up walking him and forcing in McDonald with the Reds’ fifth run.
David Patton replaced Wells with two outs in the fourth and retired Jonny Gomes on a groundout to third.
Wells’ line: five runs, three earned, on six hits in 3 2/3 innings with three walks and no strikeouts.
The Cubs pen (David Patton, Jeff Samardzija, Kevin Gregg, John Grabow) kept the Reds off the board and gave the offense a chance to bail out Randy Wells … and they delivered.
Ryan Theriot walked to start the sixth, Cueto’s third free pass of the game. Derrek Lee then blooped a single into right center, the Cubs’ second hit of the game. Aramis Ramirez followed with a single to center, Theriot scored … 5-1, Reds.
Milton Bradley flied out to deep center and Lee advanced to third. Geovany Soto doubled to left on the first pitch from Cueto. The ball just missed landing in the basket. Lee scored and chased Cueto from the game.
Bobby Scales hit the first pitch he saw from Daniel Ray Herrera into center. Ramirez tagged and scored, 5-3 Reds. Andres Blanco walked with two outs but Jeff Baker hit the first pitch from Ramon Ramirez into left center for the final out of the inning.
The Cubs tied the game in the seventh. Kosuke Fukudome walked to start the inning. After Theriot swung at the first pitch and flied out to right, Derrek Lee walked and chased Ramon Ramirez from the game.
Aramis Ramirez reached on a broken bat infield single off of Nick Masset. Joey Votto fielded the ball and threw to second but Paul Janish was not on the bag.
Milton Bradley had another chance to drive in runs but struck out swinging on a ball in the dirt for the second out of the inning.
Geovany Soto stepped in and ripped a 2-1 pitch from Masset into left center. The ball one-hopped the wall. Fukudome and Lee scored to tie the game but Aramis Ramirez was cut down at the plate to end the inning. It took a perfect relay to keep the go ahead run from scoring and the Reds delivered an 8-6-2 put out at the plate.
The Cubs did not manage another runner in the final two innings against Arthur Rhodes and Francisco Cordero.
Ted Lilly is slated to face Homer Bailey in the season and series finale against the Reds on Sunday afternoon.