Game Forty-Eight – Cubs 1 Dodgers 0
WP – Sean Marshall (5-1) LP – John Ely (3-2) Save – Carlos Marmol (11)
After managing only one win in the first 45 games when scoring less than four runs, the Cubs have scored a total of four runs in their last two victories. Thursday was just the third time all season Lou Piniella’s crew won a ballgame when they scored less than four runs.
Ted Lilly set the tone for the afternoon and went pitch-for-pitch with John Ely. Lilly put together his best start of the season but admitted after the game he pitched to the conditions at Wrigley. With the wind blowing in, Lilly allowed three hits in seven innings with three walks and five strikeouts. Lilly struggled a little with his command in the fifth and walked the bases loaded but escaped without allowing a run.
Sean Marshall, arguably the Cubs’ MVP of the first two months of the season, pitched around a couple of hits in the eighth and picked up another win. Sean Marshall is 5-0 in the month of May.
Thursday was all about pitching, really on both sides … and Carlos Marmol did not let up in the ninth. Marmol gave up another walk but struck out the side to earn his 11th save of the year. In 24 2/3 innings this season, Marmol has recorded 49 strikeouts … and is 11 for 13 in save opportunities.
The Cubs offense was pretty much non-existent against John Ely. Derrek Lee recorded the Cubs first hit of the game in the fourth … a double to right. Lee walked in the first and was the only Cub to reach base until Kosuke Fukudome singled in the seventh.
Mike Fontenot replaced Jeff Baker in the eighth inning. Baker lost his vision in his right eye with no outs in the eighth and a 0-2 count on Xavier Paul. Baker did not see Russell Martin’s single to left and had to be lifted from the game.
Mike Fontenot led off the bottom of the eighth with a triple to the corner in right. Xavier Paul misplayed the ball and even lost his glove. Fontenot ended up a third with no outs. After Geovany Soto struck out swinging on three pitches, Tyler Colvin stepped to the plate.
Lou Piniella brought in Colvin to replace Xavier Nady in left in the top of the inning … and Colvin delivered again. Tyler Colvin chopped a 1-1 offering from Ely down the right field line just past a diving James Loney. Fontenot scored easily. Colvin ended up at third on another misplayed ball by Xavier Paul and was credited with a RBI double.
The Cubs managed only four hits but they made the last two count.
Thursday marked the first time since May 9, 2007 the Cubs won a 1-0 game. Jason Marquis beat Tom Gorzelanny and the Pirates that evening … the only run was first inning longball by Alfonso Soriano. Ted Lilly stepped up once again for the Chicago Cubs. Lilly began Thursday 25-12 after a Cubs’ loss and while he did not get credit for the win, he certainly set the tone. Lilly threw 111 pitches over seven innings and had only one high-stress inning.
Lilly retired the Dodgers in order to start the game. Then worked around a two-out single by Reed Johnson in the second. Lilly sat down the Dodgers in order once again in the third.
Casey Blake singled to left center on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the fourth … but Lilly retired James Loney to end the inning. It was that kind of day for Theodore.
Lilly ran into big time trouble in the fifth. He issued a four-pitch walk to Reed Johnson to start the inning. Blake DeWitt struck out swinging but Lilly walked the eighth place hitter in the lineup … Jamey Carroll. John Ely sacrificed both runners up ninety feet.
With runners on second and third with two outs, Lilly appeared to pitch around Russell Martin before intentionally issuing ball four to the Dodgers’ catcher. The right decision by the veteran southpaw.
Xavier Paul popped out to Starlin Castro on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
Lilly gave up his third hit in the sixth but worked around Blake’s single … as well as Blake trying to point out Lilly was not pitching from the rubber. Ryan Theriot made a tremendous sliding catch in foul ground to end the inning.
The Dodgers went down in order again in the seventh … but the Cubs’ offense could not plate a run and give Lilly a chance to notch the win.
Russell Martin greeted Sean Marshall with a single to left to start the eighth. After Jeff Baker left the game, Xavier Paul struck out. Matt Kemp singled to center. In a scoreless game, the Dodgers had runners on first and second with one out.
Casey Blake lined out to Derrek Lee for the second out. James Loney grounded out to Ryan Theriot on a 2-0 count to end the inning.
The Chicago Cubs shutdown a very hot Dodgers’ team and have won eight of their last 11 games.
The Cubs and Cardinals open a three-game series Friday afternoon. Randy Wells will face Chris Carpenter in game one.