Game One Hundred Seven – Cubs 3 Brewers 4
WP – Chris Narveson (9-7) LP – Thomas Diamond (0-1) Save – John Axford (16)
Thomas Diamond made his Major League debut in the spot vacated by Ted Lilly Tuesday night … and Diamond quickly found out how Lilly felt this season. Diamond put together a quality start despite a high-pitch count but took the loss due to no run support from the Cubs “offense.”
Diamond allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings with three walks and 10 strikeouts. Diamond became only the second Cub since 1920 to record 10 strikeouts a Major League debut. Mark Prior accomplished the feat on May 22, 2002 against the Pirates.
Thomas Diamond struck out five of the first nine batters he faced … but struggled with his command at times and ran up his pitch count. He had seven three-ball counts and two of his three walks came around to score. Diamond tossed 122 pitches (highest pitch count of season was 115 on July 19 versus Oklahoma City), 77 for strikes, and kept his team in the game.
Lou’s overpaid “offense” disappointed once again. The Cubs managed only three runs on 11 hits. Starlin Castro did his job (2-for-4 with a walk, a RBI and a run scored) but also ran them out of a possible rally in the ninth. But the “offense” finished the game 1-for-11 with RISP and left nine on base.
Kosuke Fukudome hit his ninth longball of the season, first since July 6, in the seventh that accounted for the Cubs’ second run.
Mike Fontenot pinch-hit for Carlos Marmol and doubled to start the ninth. Tyler Colvin advanced him to third on a ground out to second. Starlin Castro drove in Fontenot and made it a 4-3 … but Castro saw Edmonds bobble the ball in left center and tried to take second. Castro stumbled and was caught in a run down. Derrek Lee (2-for-5 with a RBI) struck out swinging to end the game.
The Cubs were overly aggressive once again and every day it gets a harder to watch their approach, or lack thereof, at the plate. The Brewers staff threw only 147 pitches while the Cubs tossed 173.
Marlon Byrd continued making highlight real catches Tuesday night. Byrd made two spectacular diving catches … one in left center and the other in right center. Byrd took away at least a two-run double from Casey McGehee in the seventh.
One of the many examples of poor roster management and player evaluation under Jim Hendry’s watch, Casey McGehee, tormented his former organization yet again Tuesday night. McGehee drove in two of the Brewers’ four runs (1-for-3 with a sac fly).
The last time the Chicago Cubs had a lead in a game was back on July 28 in Houston. The Cubs dropped their Major League leading 25th one-run game (13-25) and Lou’s lame duck crew lost their season-high seventh game in a row while falling a season-low 15 games under .500 … Thomas Diamond earned the right to make another start for the Cubs when his spot comes back around. Diamond left a lot of balls up and by no means was it a spectacular debut. But he battled and kept his team in the ballgame.
The Brewers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Diamond struck out Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart to start the game but walked Ryan Braun. Fielder blooped a single into left that Soriano could not haul in. Casey McGehee then drove in Braun with a single to center.
The Cubs tied the game in the home half of the first. Starlin Castro reached on a one-out single to left. Derrek Lee then hit a long single to right. Lee slipped on the first base bag or it would have been a double. Castro scored all the way from first to tie the game.
Aramis Ramirez, who is back to early season form, popped out and Byrd struck out swinging to end the inning.
Thomas Diamond retired the Brewers in order in the second … the only inning Diamond sat Milwaukee down in order.
The Brewers took the lead for good in the third. Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart worked back-to-back walks to start the inning. Diamond struck out Braun swinging but Fielder singled to right center and plated Weeks with the go ahead run.
Casey McGehee struck out, and complained about it, for the second out and Edmonds lined out to second to end the inning.
After the Cubs blew a chance to tie or take the lead in the bottom of the third (second and third with one out, Ramirez popped out and Byrd struck out), the bottom of the Brewers order tacked on a run.
Jonathan Lucroy doubled over Colvin’s head in right. Diamond then gave up a single to Chris Narveson … the knock to center by the Brewers’ pitcher gave Milwaukee a 3-1 lead.
Thomas Diamond left after six and turned the game over to Justin Berg.
Berg surrendered a leadoff single to Weeks that started the seventh. Corey Hart popped out but Braun singled to left. With runners on first and second and one out, Piniella went to his pen for James Russell.
Russell got ahead of Prince Fielder 1-2 before hitting him with a pitch to load the bases. Casey McGehee then ripped a would be double into left center, but Marlon Byrd made one of his highlight real diving catches … Weeks tagged and scored, 4-1 Brewers.
Kosuke Fukudome launched his ninth homer of the year in the seventh pinch-hitting for James Russell … 4-2, Brewers.
The Cubs had a chance once again the eighth but came away empty.
Mike Fontenot led off the ninth with the Cubs’ second pinch-hit of the game. Fontenot reached on a hustle-double to left center and advanced to third on a groundout to second by Colvin. Starlin Castro came through with a single to center. Fontenot scored but Castro slipped between first and second, was caught in a rundown and eventually tagged out (8-6-4-3). Castro saw Edmonds bobble the ball and tried to take advantage.
13-25 in one-run games … It’s a Way of Life!
Ryan Dempster against Manny Parra in the finale Wednesday afternoon.