The Bullpen and the Big Three Deliver in a Thriller – Cubs 7 Diamondbacks 5

Game Twenty-Five – Cubs 7 Diamondbacks 5
WP – Sean Marshall (1-1) LP – Juan Gutierrez (0-3) Save – Carlos Marmol (4)

wflag.jpgThe Cubs won for the second day in a row in come from behind fashion. Lou Piniella’s crew was down 5-2 going into the bottom of the fifth against Dan Haren. Carlos Silva gave up five runs on eight hits and three home runs … two solo shots by Mark Reynolds and a two-run opposite field homer by Justin Upton.

The Big Three‘ delivered on Saturday afternoon. Aramis Ramirez cut the Cubs lead to 5-3 with a fielder’s choice RBI in the bottom of the fifth. Jeff Gray kept the D’Backs from tacking on in the sixth and the game remained 5-3 until the seventh.

Marlon Byrd (2-for-5 with a double and a run scored) reached on a one-out single to left off of Bobby Howry. Aramis Ramirez lined out to third but Alfonso Soriano came through again with two outs.

Bobby Howry fell behind Soriano 3-1. Soriano looked at strike two then launched Howry’s next offering into the bleachers in left center. Game tied at five, Howry’s first blown save of the year.

Sean Marshall pitched two hitless innings and picked up his first win of the year. Marshall walked a batter and struck out two on 38 pitches. Marshall was very sharp once again.

Geovany Soto led off the eighth with a single to center. After Ryan Dempster hit for Marshall and failed to get a bunt down, Gutierrez uncorked a wild pickoff attempt at first, which allowed pinch runner Tyler Colvin to advance into scoring position.

Ryan Theriot and Kosuke Fukudome walked to load the bases for Derrek Lee.

Derrek Lee came through with a single to left on a 1-1 pitch. Colvin and Theriot scored and gave the Cubs a 7-5 lead.

Carlos Marmol labored through the ninth inning. He threw 35 pitches, 21 for strikes, and loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a single by Justin Upton. Adam LaRoche stepped in 0-for-7 in his career against Marmol and struck out swinging on a 1-2 pitch to end the game. Marmol ended up striking out the side in the ninth.

Kosuke Fukudome began May the same way he finished April. Fukudome finished the game 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a walk and a RBI.

With the win, the Cubs improved to 12-13 on the first day of May …

The Cubs had plenty of chances to put the game away early on. Lack of clutch hitting and hustle hurt the team. The offense pounded out 14 hits and finished the game 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position … and left 10 on base.

Saturday was a positive step in the right direction but the Cubs still have a lot of work to do, especially against the top pitchers in the league.

Dan Haren not only had a good day on the mound (three runs on 10 hits with two walks and three strikeouts in six innings) but he finished 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored at the plate.

Haren led off the third with a double and scored the first run of the game. Kelly Johnson followed Haren’s double with a single to right … and with runners on first and third with no outs it looked like it was going to be a big inning for Arizona.

Carlos Silva induced a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Justin Upton. Haren scored but Silva kept the D’Backs from a potential huge inning. Silva struck out Stephen Drew to end the frame.

The Cubs tied the game at one in the bottom of the third … but it should have been more.

Geovany Soto worked a walk, after falling behind 0-2, to start the third. Silva sacrificed him to second and Ryan Theriot extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an infield single up the middle. With runners on first and third, Kosuke Fukudome hit his second double of the game.

Fukudome’s drive down the left field line hit and took a kangaroo’s hop into the stands. The ground rule drive plated Soto but kept Theriot from scoring and the Cubs from taking the lead.

With runners on second and third, Derrek Lee struck out swinging and Marlon Byrd flied out to right center on the first pitch of the at bat.

Mark Reynolds gave Arizona the lead on Silva’s fourth pitch of the fourth. Reynolds tattooed a 2-1 pitch from Silva onto Waveland … 2-1 D’Backs.

The Cubs tied the game in the bottom of the fourth … and again it should have been more.

Aramis Ramirez led off with what looked like a homer to left. Ramirez admired the ball as it hit the top of the wall. Gerardo Parra made a perfect throw to nail Ramirez at second … Ramirez did not hustle out of the box.

Alfonso Soriano (2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBI) followed Ramirez with a single to left. Mike Fontenot extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single to right center. Soriano advanced to third.

Geovany Soto hit a tailor made 6-4-3 grounder to Stephen Drew. Drew bobbled the ball then threw high to first base. Soriano scored and tied the game at two. Silva dropped down another successful sacrifice bunt but Ryan Theriot grounded out to short to end the inning.

With the game tied at two, Dan Haren led off the fifth with a single to center. Silva struck out Johnson but was squeezed a little during Justin Upton’s at bat. Silva missed on a 2-1 pitch then came in on his next offering, which ended up in the bleachers in right. The D’Backs took a 4-2 lead on Upton’s two-run homer.

Mark Reynolds hit his second career homer at Wrigley a batter later and gave the D’Backs what looked like a commanding 5-2 lead.

Derrek Lee reached on a one-out bloop single to right center in the bottom of the fifth. Marlon Byrd doubled to right on Haren’s first pitch. With runners on second and third with one out, Aramis Ramirez grounded out to short and plated Lee with the Cubs’ third run.

Bobby Howry took over for Haren in the seventh … and retired Derrek Lee on a fly out to right on a 3-2 pitch. Marlon Byrd singled to left. After Ramirez lined out to third, Alfonso Soriano tied the game with his fourth longball of the year … and the second in two games.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Tom Gorzelanny is scheduled to face Edwin Jackson on Sunday afternoon … the last of 19 in a row for the Chicago Cubs.

Quote of the Day

"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." – Arthur Ashe