Z Long Ztrange Game – Cubs 3 Giants 4

Game One Hundred Twelve – Cubs 3 Giants 4 – 11 innings
WP – Chris Ray (5-0) LP – Marcos Mateo (0-1) Save – None

Two teams that struggle to score runs squared off Monday night by the Bay … and not surprisingly the game went into extra innings.

The Giants finally pushed across the winning run in the 11th inning. Edgar Renteria led off with a bloop single to left, another ball misplayed by Alfonso Soriano. Marcos Mateo, in his big league debut, then gave up a single to Aubrey Huff. Renteria advanced to third on the hard hit ball to right.

Marco Mateo intentionally walked Buster Posey to load the bases with no outs.

Pat Burrell hit Mateo’s first pitch into deep center. Marlon Byrd hustled back and made the catch, but Renteria tagged from third and scored the winning run … the Cubs need more players like Marlon Byrd.

The Cubs lost another one-run game and are now 13-27 in games decided by just a single run this season.

The Cubs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on back-to-back two-out hits by Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano. First inning runs and clutch hits for the Cubs, a grouping of words that has not been used too often this season.

The Giants finally got to Carlos Zambrano in the fifth and tied the game at two. But Tyler Colvin delivered the Cubs’ third two-out RBI hit of the night in the sixth and gave the Cubs a brief 3-2 lead.

The Giants tied the game in the bottom of the sixth off James Russell … a two-out single to left by Andres Torres. The game remained knotted at three until the bottom of the 11th.

Carlos Zambrano made his first start since June 25 and struggled with his command. Zambrano was supposed to throw between 75-80 pitches but ended up throwing 95, 49 for strikes, in five innings.

Zambrano tied a career-high with seven walks, third time in his career Z walked seven batters, and struck out three. Z gave up a pair of run on four hits and left inline for the win.

Zambrano found a rhythm in the first inning but then struggled in his other four innings with finding an arm slot. Z’s velocity was noticeably down once again … mid to high 80s, topping out around 90. But even in the middle of a lost season, Zambrano hustled out of the box in the sixth and notched an infield single that kept the inning going for Tyler Colvin.

Justin Berg, James Russell, Andrew Cashner, Sean Marshall and Marco Mateo did a good job in relief of Zambrano. They allowed two runs on seven hits in the final 5 1/3 innings. Cubs pitching walked a season-high 11 batters, one intentional, Monday night … and one came around to score.

Marcos Mateo was called up Monday and thrown into the mix Monday night. Mateo was solid in the 10th and struck out a pair but could not pitch around another defensive miscue in the 11th. Mateo became the 11th rookie pitcher the Cubs have used this season.

The Cubs once again had plenty of chances to win a game but came up short again … 4-for-10 with RISP and 12 left on base.

Alfonso Soriano had a rough night in the field. Soriano misplayed a ball hit by Buster Posey into a ground rule double in the fifth. The Giants ended up tying the game later in the inning. Soriano’s usually accurate arm was off the mark Monday night as well. Soriano had a shot at throwing out Travis Ishikawa at the plate in the sixth but was well off the mark … then in the ninth, Soriano was offline with his throw to second on a double by Pat Burrell.

Blake DeWitt turned in a good game in the field. DeWitt made a diving stop on a ball hit up the middle by Edgar Renteria in the third and threw him out from his knees. DeWitt also doubled off Aubrey Huff in the same inning … and handled several hard hit liners with ease.

Following Monday’s game, the Cubs placed Geovany Soto on the 15-day DL and placed Derrek Lee on the bereavement list. Welington Castillo and Micah Hoffpauir have been recalled from Triple-A Iowa.

With Monday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to another season-low. The team with the third highest payroll in the game is now 18 games under .500 with a mark of 47-65 …

Alan Trammell did a good job as the Cubs’ skipper on Monday night. He dealt with a short bench and a very young bullpen and nearly pulled out a win. Jeff Baker was the only position player that did not get into the game … and Carlos Marmol was the only reliever left in the pen.

Starlin Castro jump-started the Cubs’ offense once again. Castro reached on a one-out double to left center. Xavier Nady flied out to right but Aramis Ramirez walked on a very close 3-2 pitch.

Marlon Byrd worked the count to 3-2 before hitting a single into right and driving in Castro with the game’s first run. A rarity for the Chicago Cubs, a two-out hit that drove in a run.

Alfonso Soriano then ripped a ball off Pablo Sandoval’s glove. Sandoval mistimed his jump and the ball ended up in left. Ramirez scored, Byrd took third and Soriano hustled into second.

Blake DeWitt struck out on three pitches, but the Cubs scored a pair of runs in the first inning.

The Giants finally got to Carlos Zambrano in the fifth. Zambrano issued his seventh walk of the game to former Cub Andres Torres to start the inning. Edgar Renteria followed with a single to left. Aubrey Huff lined out to second for the first out.

Buster Posey stepped in and lined a ground rule double into left center. The ball hit on the warning track and hopped over the wall. Alfonso Soriano misplayed the ball into a RBI double for the Giants’ catcher. Torres scored and the Cubs lead was cut in half.

Zambrano jumped ahead of Pat Burrell 1-2 but missed his spot badly on his next offering. Instead of the pitch going down and out, Z crossed up Hill and threw one high and tight. The ball bounced off Hill’s glove and the wild pitch allowed Renteria to score the tying run. Posey advanced to third on the play.

Z reached back and retired Sandoval on a broken bat groundout to second to end the inning.

Blake DeWitt reached on a one-out single in the sixth. DeWitt stole second with Koyie Hill at the plate and advanced to third on an infield single by Carlos Zambrano … Z hit for himself due to the Cubs being two players short on their bench.

Tyler Colvin stepped in and delivered a single to left on a 0-2 pitch from Madison Bumgarner … it was nice to see a Cub hit the ball where it was pitched.

DeWitt scored and gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead.

Guillermo Mota replaced Bumgarner and retired Castro on one pitch … a groundout to short that forced Z at third.

The Giants tied the game in the home half of the sixth. Travis Ishikawa singled to left with one out off Justin Berg. Ishikawa advanced to second on a weak groundout off the bat of Emanuel Burriss … DeWitt’s only play was to first.

Trammell went to his pen for James Russell to turn Andres Torres around. Torres delivered a single into left on a 1-0 pitch. Soriano threw to the plate but the ball was way up the first baseline and got past Koyie Hill. Ishikawa scored and tied the game at three.

Torres advanced to second on the throwing error but was stranded when Renteria flied out to deep center.

The game remained 3-3 until the 11th.

After an impressive 10th inning, Marcos Mateo took the hill in the 11th … and had to face the heart of the Giants’ lineup.

Edgar Renteria led off with a bloop single to left. Castro ran out to get the ball as Soriano lumbered in from left. Both appeared to pull up on a ball a left fielder must catch. Renteria held at first but advanced to third on a hard hit single to right by Aubrey Huff.

Trammell decided to intentionally walk Buster Posey to load the bases with no outs.

Pat Burrell ripped Mateo’s first pitch into deep center. Marlon Byrd raced back, made the catch and fired the ball into the infield. Renteria tagged and scored easily.

It has been a pleasure watching Marlon Byrd play the game the right way this season. Most players would have let the ball sail over their head to end the game, but Byrd made the play. The Cubs need more Marlon Byrds …

Another one-run loss in a lost season.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Ryan Dempster will face Tim Lincecum Tuesday night.

Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein