Game Thirty-Nine – Cubs 4 Rockies 2 – 11 innings
WP – Sean Marshall (3-1) LP – Matt Belisle (1-1) Save – None
Welcome to the 2010 baseball season Aramis Ramirez! The Cubs improved to 2-1 in extra innings this season behind a two-run walk off homer in the 11th inning by Aramis Ramirez. Starlin Castro led off the 11th with a single to right center off of Matt Belisle. After Derrek Lee lined out to Troy Tulowitzki, Aramis Ramirez launched a 1-0 offering from Belisle into the bleachers in left center … Game Over, Cubs Win!
Aramis Ramirez’s blast in extra innings was his first longball since April 15. After a horrible start to the season, Ramirez is starting to heat up and drove in three of the Cubs’ four runs on Monday night.
Ramirez came through with two outs in the first inning. After Kosuke Fukudome doubled to start the game, Ramirez singled to left on Aaron Cook’s first pitch.
Randy Wells put together one of his better starts of the season. Wells left in the seventh inning up by a score of 2-1. Wells threw 116 pitches, a career-high, in 6 2/3 innings and allowed one run on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Randy Wells was in line for the win but John Grabow could not throw strikes … again.
John Grabow recorded the final out in the seventh but could not throw strikes in the eighth. Grabow gave up a leadoff single to Seth Smith then issued two walks to load the basses, if not for a tremendous diving catch by Marlon Byrd, the inning could have been a lot worse that it ended up. After Grabow walked Todd Helton to load the bases, Lou Piniella brought in Carlos Marmol with one out in the eighth.
Carlos Marmol walked Miguel Olivo on four pitches and forced in the tying run. Marmol was hung with his second blown save of the year …
After Marmol struck out the side in the ninth, Lou Piniella turned the game over to Sean Marshall. Marshall picked up his second win in as many days with another outstanding effort out of the pen. Marshall retired all six hitters (four strikeouts) he faced in two perfect innings. Marshall struck out the side in the 10th and threw 21 pitches, 15 for strikes.
With the win, Lou Piniella’s crew improved to 17-22 on the season …
Kosuke Fukudome led off the bottom of the first with a double to left. After Starlin Castro flied out and Derrek Lee struck out, Aramis Ramirez singled to left and plated Fukudome with the game’s first run.
Randy Wells worked around a one-out single by Todd Helton in the second but allowed the Rockies to tie the game in the third.
Carlos Gonzalez reached on a double to left with two outs in the third. Seth Smith worked the count to 2-2 before ripping a single into left center. Gonzalez scored easily but Smith tried to stretch it into a double. Tyler Colvin threw out Smith at second to end the inning.
The Rockies came out swinging in the fourth … and loaded the bases with one out. Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton reached on back-to-back singles. Miguel Olivo then blooped a single into center to load the bases.
Randy Wells showed how far he’s come in just over a year in the big leagues. Wells struck out Ian Stewart and Clint Barmes to end the inning. Wells pumped his fist as he escaped the jam.
Tyler Colvin walked with one out in the fourth and came around to score the go ahead run. Alfonso Soriano struck out but Troy Tulowitzki bobbled a grounder by Mike Fontenot to extend the inning. Koyie Hill blooped a 1-2 offering from Aaron Cook into left center. Colvin scored … 2-1 Cubs.
The Rockies tied the game in the eighth due to the fact John Grabow cannot throw strikes. The Cubs must admit they made a mistake and either release him (which is not going to happen with another year left on his contract) or change his role. Grabow is not capable of throwing strikes under pressure. Lou Piniella gave up on Scott Eyre … why is he being so patient with John Grabow?
Seth Smith singled to center to start the eighth. Brad Hawpe walked on five pitches. Troy Tulowitzki then hit a sinking liner to center. Marlon Byrd made a tremendous catch running toward the infield. Byrd caught the ball as he slid on his chest. Grabow then walked Todd Helton to load the bases.
Piniella made the slow walk and brought in Carlos Marmol … with one out and the bases loaded. Marmol walked Miguel Olivo to force in the tying run. Marmol jumped ahead of Ian Stewart 0-2 before he hit a grounder up the middle that Castro snagged and started a 6-3 inning ending double play.
Starlin Castro quietly put together another good game. Not only is Castro settling in defensively, he is getting on base. Castro was 3-for-5 Monday night with a run scored and his first big league stolen base.
Carlos Silva will face Jhoulys Chacin on Tuesday night in the finale of the two-game series against the Rockies.