Game Seven – Cubs 9 Brewers 5
WP – Ryan Dempster (1-0) LP – Doug Davis (0-1) Save – None
The Cubs’ offense came alive in the 95th home opener at Wrigley Field. After plating nine runs over the weekend in Cincinnati, Lou Piniella’s crew equaled that total in one afternoon at the Friendly Confines.
The Cubs scored nine runs, all with two outs, on three home runs, a RBI single from Derrek Lee and a RBI hustle double by Marlon Byrd.
Xavier Nady broke up a scoreless tie in the third with his first home run as a Chicago Cub. Nady ripped a 2-1 pitch from Doug Davis into the bleachers in left Marlon Byrd and Derrek Lee were along for the ride. Nady gave his new team a 3-0 lead and the Cubs never looked back.
Jeff Baker hit the first ball of the season onto Waveland in the third. Following Nady’s homer, Alfonso Soriano singled and scored on Baker’s blast … his second of the year.
Not to be outdone, Aramis Ramirez added a two-run shot of his own in the fourth.
Ryan Dempster was not as sharp as he was in Atlanta last Wednesday night. But every time the Brewers chipped away at the lead, the Cubs’ offense would answer. Dempster allowed five runs, all earned, on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings with four walks and five strikeouts. Dempster departed with a 9-4 lead but James Russell allowed an inherited runner to score. Russell pitched well and struck out two of the three batters he faced, both lefties … Jim Edmonds and Prince Fielder.
Jeff Samardzija pitched a scoreless eighth and Carlos Marmol closed it out in the ninth. As Piniella put it after the game, Marmol made everyone’s heart race just a little as he walked a batter and hit a batter with a four-run lead. Jim Edmonds lined into a 6-4 double play to end the game.
The only negative from Monday was Derrek Lee leaving the game in the fifth inning. Lee aggravated an injury in the third inning he suffered last Wednesday sliding into second base in Atlanta. Lee singled to center and shook his hand while running to first base. Lee was lifted after four innings with inflammation in his right thumb … and sent to Northwestern for X-rays on his hand. The X-rays came back negative. Lee is listed as day-to-day and is expected back in the lineup on Wednesday or Thursday.
From the Ricketts family, to the renovations and improvements to a win on the field it was a successful home debut for the Twenty-Ten Chicago Cubs …
Marlon Byrd (3-for-5 with a double, a run scored and a RBI) started the five-run rally in the third with a one-out single to center. Derrek Lee (2-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI) followed with a single to center. Aramis Ramirez struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch but both Byrd and Lee advanced to second and third with two outs.
After leaving three on base in the first two innings, the Cubs finally put a crooked number on the board.
Xavier Nady (this just in, Xavier Nady can hit a baseball) ripped a 2-1 pitch over the wall in left center … 3-0 Cubs.
Alfonso Soriano (2-for-4 with a run scored) singled to left and scored on Jeff Baker’s bomb onto Waveland … 5-0 Cubs.
The Brewers cut the Cubs lead to 5-1 in the fourth. Prince Fielder doubled to right. Casey McGehee reached on a bloop double to right that Jeff Baker could not hold on to. Corey Hart followed with a single to center that plated Fielder … 5-1 Cubs.
Gregg Zaun grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The Cubs got the run right back in the fourth … and then some.
Ryan Theriot walked with one out and chased Doug Davis from the game. With Marlon Byrd at the plate, Theriot stole second. Byrd advanced Theriot to third with a ground out to third … a productive out. Derrek Lee then singled to right off of Claudio Vargas. Theriot scored … 6-1 Cubs.
Aramis Ramirez ripped a 1-0 pitch from Vargas into the bleachers in left … and put the Cubs up 8-1.
Following a singles by Xavier Nady and Alfonso Soriano, Jeff Baker grounded out to short to end the inning.
The Brewers took a big bite out of the Cubs lead in the fifth. Alcides Escobar led off with a single to right. Jody Gerut hit for Claudio Vargas and struck out. Rickie Weeks flied out but Dempster walked Jim Edmonds with two outs.
Ryan Braun hit his second home run in as many days, a three-run shot to left, that cut the Cubs lead to 8-4.
After issuing a four-pitch walk to Prince Fielder, Casey McGehee grounded out to short to end the inning.
The Cubs got one of the runs back in the fifth. Geovany Soto reached on a throwing error by Alcides Escobar. Soto ended up at second on the bad throw and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Dempster. With the infield in, Ryan Theriot grounded out to short.
Marlon Byrd drove in the Cubs final run with a bloop, hustle double to left.
Joe Inglett hit for Chris Narveson and tripled to right to start the seventh. Ryan Dempster struck out Rickie Weeks swinging on his 114th pitch of the game. Dempster departed and was replaced by James Russell.
Russell ran the count to 3-2 to Jim Edmonds, but struck him out looking for the second out. Ryan Braun singled to left on a 3-2 pitch and drove in Inglett with the Brewers fifth run. Prince Fielder missed a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
The Cubs will spend Tuesday, their last off day until May 3, unpacking from Spring Training. Randy Wells faces Dave Bush in game two of the three-game set on Wednesday afternoon.