Game Sixty-Seven – Cubs 6 Angels 7
WP – Scott Kazmir (7-6) LP – Carlos Silva (8-2) Save – Fernando Rodney (6)
Too little, too late and too many errors. The Cubs attempted a comeback in the ninth inning Friday after the defense committed three errors that led to four unearned runs. The Angels built a 7-2 lead going into the bottom of the ninth … and as the rains came, the Cubs started hitting the ball out of the park.
After walks by Ryan Theriot and Chad Tracy put two on with no outs in the ninth, Tyler Colvin cut the Angels lead to 7-5 with one swing of the bat. Colvin launched a 0-1 pitch from Francisco Rodriguez (no relation to K-Rod) onto Sheffield Avenue. Colvin’s eighth dinger of the year gave the Cubs a shot at a comeback.
Kosuke Fukudome and Marlon Byrd went quietly but Derrek Lee hit his second longball of the game, his tenth of the season, onto Waveland and the Cubs were down by a single run at 7-6 … the 23rd multi-homer game in Lee’s career. Geovany Soto grounded out to third on a 3-1 pitch from Fernando Rodney to end the game..
The Angels put on a clinic at Wrigley on Friday afternoon … and showed the Cubs how to play the game the right way. While the Cubs were busy kicking and throwing the ball around the yard, Mike Scioscia’s well-coached team did all of “little things” it takes to win a ballgame.
The Cubs committed three more errors that led to four unearned runs. For the second time in four games one Cubs’ player made two errors in the same game.
Jeff Baker committed not one but two errors in the seventh that helped the Angels break the game open … Baker also bobbled a would-be double play ball off the bat of Juan Rivera that allowed Howie Kendrick to hit with a man on. Kendrick ripped a 2-1 pitch from Bobby Howry into the bleachers in right center and turned a 4-2 advantage to a 6-2 lead.
After going 59 games without an error, Derrek Lee was credited with his third miscue in four games in the eighth. Lee made a bad throw to Ryan Theriot, who was late covering first, on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Robb Quinlan. Torii Hunter scored all the way from second on the Cubs’ third error of the game.
Carlos Silva was once again a victim of no run support before he exited in the seventh. Silva put together another quality start … three runs on four hits in six innings. Silva did not walk a batter and struck out four. Silva took the mound in the seventh but was lifted before throwing a pitch. Reports indicated Silva left with cramps due to the heat at the park.
Tyler Colvin hit leadoff for the first time in his professional career Friday … and delivered. Not only did Colvin hit the three-run shot in the ninth, but he also walked, singled, scored the Cubs’ second run and worked the count. Colvin’s line: 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored, three RBI and a home run.
With another sloppy loss, the Cubs slipped back to seven games under .500 with a 30-37 record … The Angels got on the board in the fourth inning. Carlos Silva gave up a double to Bobby Abreu. Torii Hunter, who had a huge game, singled to left. With runners on first and third with one out, Hideki Matsui singled to left. Abreu scored … 1-0 Angels.
Mike Napoli flied out to left center. Hunter tagged and advanced to third, which ended up being a big play. Jeff Mathis, the Angels catcher, saw Jeff Baker playing back and dropped a bunt up the third baseline. Hunter scored the Angels second run. Brandon Wood lined out to a leaping Starlin Castro to end the inning.
Derrek Lee cut the Angels lead to 2-1 in the fourth. Lee got just enough of a 2-2 pitch from Scott Kazmir … Lee’s ninth homer ended up in the basket in right center.
The Cubs tied the game in the fifth, but it should have been a lot more.
Tyler Colvin singled to center to start the inning. Jeff Baker was hit by a pitch … and put runners on first and third with no outs. For some reason, Marlon Byrd dropped down a bunt on the first pitch from Kazmir. With a pitcher on the ropes, Byrd must hit the ball in that situation … or at least make sure he gets the job done. Byrd bunted the ball back to Kazmir who threw out Baker at second.
Derrek Lee walked to load the bases for Geovany Soto.
Soto tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right. Colvin tagged and scored from third. But Alfonso Soriano tapped out to Kazmir to end the inning. It was good to get the run in but it is hard to remember the last time the Cubs scored multiple runs after loading the bases.
Torii Hunter broke up the 2-2 tie in the sixth. Hunter ripped a 1-1 pitch from Silva over the wall in left center.
The Angels took full control in the seventh … with a lot of help. No matter the team, any time extra outs are given it always comes back to haunt you in the end, especially when the wind is blowing out at Wrigley.
Bobby Howry replaced Carlos Silva and induced a routine grounder off the bat of Jeff Mathis. Baker fielded the ball but airmailed his throw to first. Mathis ended up at second on the error. With the Angels up 3-2, Brandon Wood dropped a bunt to third, Baker fielded but threw wide of the bag. Wood reached and Mathis advanced to third.
Juan Rivera pinch-hit for Scott Kazmir and hit another ball to third. Baker bobbled, threw out Rivera at first but Mathis scored … 4-2 Angels.
Howie Kendrick then cleared the bases with an opposite field homer … 6-2 Angels.
The Cubs final miscue came in the eighth and involved Torii Hunter again.
John Grabow walked Hunter to start the inning. With Robb Quinlan at the plate, Hunter stole second. Quinlan then dropped a bunt up the first baseline. Lee fielded and threw to Ryan Theriot … instead of the bag. Theriot was late covering … Quinlan was safe. Hunter rounded third and scored as the Cubs tried to find the ball.
Just when the Cubs appear to take a couple of steps forward … they take three steps, or errors, back.
Ted Lilly and Jered Weaver Saturday afternoon in game two. Lilly better be prepared to go the distance this time.