The Night the Lights Went Out at Wrigley – Cubs 5 Dodgers 8

Game Forty-Seven – Cubs 5 Dodgers 8
WP – Chad Billingsley (6-2) LP – Tom Gorzelanny (2-5) Save – Jonathan Broxton (11)

Wednesday was a long, strange night at Wrigley Field. The Dodgers snapped the Cubs’ three-game winning streak on a night the lights went out at Wrigley. The game was delayed for 18 minutes during the top of the fourth inning after the lights went out at the old ballpark for the first time since 2003. According to reports, the power outage at Wrigley was due to an electrical fire in the 3800 block of North Racine near the ballpark.

Once the power was restored, the Cubs comeback came up short after they cut the deficit to 7-5 on a pinch-hit triple by Jeff Baker in the seventh inning.

The Cubs played another ugly game in the field and they could not buy a clutch hit Wednesday night. Three Cubs’ errors led to two unearned runs, the most costly was a throwing error by Mike Fontenot in the second that led to a 5-0 Dodgers’ lead.

Lou Piniella’s offense out hit the Dodgers but not when it counted. The Cubs managed only five runs on 14 hits and finished the game 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position. The Cubs left nine runners on base. The Dodgers scored eight runs on 10 hits … with a little help from the Cubs’ defense and three walks by Tom Gorzelanny.

Tom Gorzelanny picked a bad time to have his worst outing of the year. In his outing versus the Pirates he at least threw strikes. Gorzelanny was all over the place against the Dodgers. He threw 110 pitches in his five-plus innings and gave up seven runs, five earned, on seven hits with five strikeouts. Two of the three walks Gorzelanny issued came around to score … including one to Chad Billingsley in the second.

While Mike Fontenot struggled mightily at third base, he produced at the plate but could not make up for his costly error in the second. Fontenot doubled and scored the Cubs’ first run in the second on a single by Tom Gorzelanny. Then Fontenot took one for the team in the third. Chad Billingsley hit Fontenot in the left arm with the bases loaded and forced in Derrek Lee with the Cubs second run.

Xavier Nady came off the bench in the sixth and hit his first pinch-hit homer since 2007. Nady’s third career pinch-hit dinger cut the Dodgers’ lead to 7-3. Jeff Baker just missed a three-run pinch-hit blast in the seventh. Baker settled for a two-run triple and got the Cubs to within a pair at 7-5.

Casey Blake (2-for-5 with a home run, a double, two runs scored and two RBI) put the game out of reach in the ninth. Blake hit his seventh homer of the year, a solo shot off of James Russell.

For as bad as the Cubs looked, they still put themselves in a position to win the ballgame. The Cubs made more mental errors than physical ones and until they begin playing smart, fundamental baseball they will continue to flirt with the .500 mark.

With the loss, Lou Piniella’s crew slipped back to three games below with a 22-25 record …

The Dodgers jumped on Tom Gorzelanny in the first inning and put three runs on the board rather quickly. Rafael Furcal led off with a single to right. Russell Martin walked on four pitches. Matt Kemp worked the count to 2-2 then Joe Torre put the runners in motion on the next pitch. Kemp grounded out to second but both runners advanced with one out.

Manny Ramirez drove in the first run of the game with a ground out to third. Fontenot stopped the ball, thought about throwing home but got the sure out at first base. Casey Blake doubled to left on a 1-1 pitch. Martin scored … 2-0, Dodgers.

James Loney came through with another two-out hit and blooped a single into left. Blake scored and Loney advanced to second after Soriano missed the cut off man. Gorzelanny retired Reed Johnson to end the inning.

The Cubs had a chance to cut into the Dodgers lead in the first … but came up empty and left two on base.

Gorzelanny started the second inning on a positive note and retired Blake DeWitt to start the frame … but walked Chad Billingsley. After Rafael Furcal struck out, Russell Martin hit a routine grounder to third. Mike Fontenot charged but his throw sailed and ended up in the stands. Instead of the inning being over, the Dodgers had runners on second and third with two outs.

Matt Kemp delivered another two-out hit for the Dodgers … a ground rule double to left center. Billingsley and Martin scored … 5-0 Dodgers. Manny Ramirez lined out to left to end the inning.

The Cubs cut into the Dodgers’ commanding lead in the bottom of the second. Mike Fontenot led off with a double to left. Starlin Castro grounded out but Koyie Hill singled. Mike Quade held Fontenot at third.

Tom Gorzelanny singled to left center (with help from Manny Ramirez) and plated Fontenot with the Cubs’ first run. Kosuke Fukudome struck out and Ryan Theriot grounded out to end the inning.

The Cubs scored another run in the third but wasted a chance to make a big dent in the Dodgers’ lead. Derrek Lee (3-for-5 with two runs) led off the inning with a single to center. Alfonso Soriano reached on Rafael Furcal’s third error of the series. Furcal booted a tailor made double play ball. Tyler Colvin walked to load the bases with no outs.

Chad Billingsley hit Fontenot on the left forearm on a 1-2 pitch. Lee scored the Cubs’ second run. But Starlin Castro grounded out to third … Soriano was forced at home. Koyie Hill struck out and Gorzelanny grounded out to second on the first pitch of the at bat. The Cubs had Billingsley on the ropes. He threw over 30 pitches in the third and was out of gas. The Cubs did not make him work when they needed to toward the end of the inning.

After the lights came back on, Tom Gorzelanny was much better … until the sixth inning.

James Loney led off the sixth with a triple to right on a 3-2 pitch. Reed Johnson, in his return to Wrigley Field, doubled down the left field line on a 0-2 offering from Gorzelanny. Loney scored … 6-2, Dodgers.

Blake DeWitt followed with a single to left on a 0-2 pitch and chased Gorzelanny from the game. Bobby Howry made his 2010 Wrigley Field debut.

Chad Billingsley dropped down a sacrifice bunt and advanced both runners ninety feet.

Rafael Furcal then hit a tapper to Ryan Theriot. Theriot charged and threw home … but his throw was wide and to the first base side of home plate. Johnson scored easily and Furcal ended up at second on the Cubs’ third error of the night.

Russell Martin lined out to right and Matt Kemp struck out swinging to end the inning. Bobby Howry did a good job getting out of the jam.

Xavier Nady cut the Dodgers’ lead to 7-3 in the bottom of the sixth with his first home run since April 12 (home opener against the Brewers).

Jeff Stevens put together a solid seventh and worked around a two-out double by James Loney.

The Cubs made it a game in the bottom of the seventh. Derrek Lee led off with a single to right. Alfonso Soriano blooped a single into left and both runners advanced when Manny Ramirez bobbled the ball.

Joe Torre replaced Ronald Belisario with the southpaw Hong-Chih Kuo to face Tyler Colvin. Lou Piniella countered with Marlon Byrd but he struck out. Jeff Baker hit for Mike Fontenot and just missed a three-run homer to left center. Baker hit the ball mid-way up the wall. Lee and Soriano scored easily and Baker ended up at third with one out … and the Cubs down 7-5.

Starlin Castro and Koyie Hill struck out swinging to end the inning.

No lights … no defense … no clutch hitting

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Ted Lilly will face John Ely in the series finale Thursday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon