A Little Two-Out Magic for Q’s Cubs – Cubs 7 Cardinals 3

Game One Hundred Fifty-Four – Cubs 7 Cardinals 3
WP – Casey Coleman (3-2) LP – Chris Carpenter (15-9) Save – None

wflag.jpgThe Chicago Cubs finally posted their 70th win of the season in the next to the last home game of Twenty-Ten. Casey Coleman earned his first win at Wrigley after a solid seven-inning outing, the longest of his short big league career.

Casey Coleman was a little shaky early on and gave up five hits in the first three innings. Coleman settled down and finished the game strong. Coleman surrendered three runs, two earned, on five hits with a pair of walks and four strikeouts. Coleman retired the last nine batters he faced and threw only 93 pitches.

Saturday was the sixth start in a row that Casey Coleman has completed at least six innings of work.

The Cubs offense woke up and came through with four, two-out RBI hits. Q’s crew scored all seven of their runs with two outs against Chris Carpenter and Fernando Salas.

Aramis Ramirez (2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI) and Blake DeWitt (2-for-5 with a triple and two RBI) did a bulk of the production against Cardinals pitching. Sam Fuld had both a good and bad day at the old ballpark.

Sam Fuld finished the game 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI. Fuld drove in the eventual winning run with a two-out RBI single in the third. But Fuld hit a rocket back up the middle that hit Blake Hawksworth in the face in the fifth. Hawksworth eventually left the field on his own power and was taken to the hospital.

Chris Carpenter has run out of gas and lost his fourth game in a row. Carpenter left the game after only four innings, his second shortest start of the year. The Cubs plated five runs on seven hits off the Cardinals ace and walked four times, one intentional. Three of Carpenter’s nine losses this season have come at the hands of the Chicago Cubs.

Tony LaRussa was ejected in the fourth inning after arguing balls and strikes with Joe West. LaRussa did not agree with several questionable calls by the controversial umpire.

Carlos Marmol broke Bruce Sutter’s all-time record for strikeouts in a single season by a Cubs’ reliever. Sutter struck out 129 batters 33 years ago (1977). Marmol struck out the side in the ninth, along with a walk and a hit batsman, and ran his season total to 131 … with eight games remaining on the schedule.

Brad Snyder notched his first Major League double hitting for Sean Marshall in the eighth. Snyder took a very nice and easy swing and just missed a home run.

39,316 showed up to Wrigley on Saturday and ran the Cubs home attendance to 3,024,916 for the year with one home game remaining. The Cubs have drawn at least 3 million fans to Clark and Addison for the last seven years.

With Saturday’s win, the Cubs improved to 9-5 on the year against the Cardinals and to 19-10 under Mike Quade … still 14 under with a 70-84 record.

After struggling to score runs over the first four games of the homestand, the offense produced a solid come from behind win on Saturday.

The Cardinals jumped out to an early lead in the second inning. Colby Rasmus singled to left on the first pitch from Casey Coleman. Rasmus was thrown out at second on a botched hit and run. Daniel Descalso worked the count to 3-2 before singling to right. Brendan Ryan followed with a single to right and Descalso ended up at third.

Bryan Anderson followed with a sac fly to left … Descalso scored, 1-0 Cardinals.

The Cardinals took what appeared to be a commanding 3-0 lead in the third … with help from the Cubs’ pathetic defense.

Jon Jay notched the Cardinals’ fourth hit, a one-out single to center. Albert Pujols then ripped a double down the left field line. Jay scored, 2-0 Cardinals. Matt Holliday stepped in and hit a routine grounder to Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez threw low to first and Hoffpauir could not scoop. The ball ended up in the stands and Pujols trotted home with the Cardinals third run.

Ramirez’s 16th error (the Cubs 122nd of the year), gave the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.

Rasmus flied out to center and Descalso popped out to Castro to end the inning.

The Cubs got on the board … and then some in the bottom of the third. Q’s crew sent nine to the plate, took advantage of a Cardinals’ error and a Carpenter wild pitch.

Blake DeWitt reached on a broken bat, one-out bloop double to right. With Castro at the dish, Carpenter uncorked a wild pitch that advanced DeWitt to third. Castro grounded out to third for the second out.

Kosuke Fukudome walked on a close 3-2 pitch. Aramis Ramirez put together a very good at bat and ended up driving in DeWitt with a single to left on the seventh pitch of the at bat … 3-1 Cardinals.

Micah Hoffpauir was robbed of an extra base hit. Albert Pujols made a nice stop on a ball ticketed for the right field corner but threw home as Fukudome rounded third. Kosuke was caught in a run down … Anderson threw high to Descalso, the ball ended up in left and Kosuke scampered home with the Cubs’ second run.

Carpenter intentionally walked Alfonso Soriano to load the bases for Sam Fuld.

Fuld got ahead in the count 2-1 before ripping a single into center. Ramirez and Hoffpauir scored … 4-3 Cubs. Koyie Hill lined out to Brendan Ryan on Carpenter’s 38th pitch of the inning.

After Tony LaRussa was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, Casey Coleman sat down the Cardinals in order for the first time in the fourth.

The Cubs tacked on in the bottom of the fourth on another two-out RBI single. Starlin Castro doubled to left center on a 3-2 pitch from Carpenter. Fukudome worked another two-out walk and Ramirez singled to left. Castro scored … 5-3 Cubs.

Sam Fuld reached on a one-out single in the fifth off of Blake Hawksworth. Fuld drilled one back up the middle and hit Hawksworth in the face. Hawksworth went down but ended up walking off the field on his own power.

Casey Coleman ended up walking on a very close 3-1 pitch from Fernando Salas. Blake DeWitt stepped in and ripped a triple into the corner in right … Fuld and Coleman scored, 7-3 Cubs.

Other than Brad Snyder’s double in the eighth, the Cubs offense was quiet after the fifth.

Carlos Marmol broke Bruce Sutter’s single-season record for strikeouts by a Cubs’ reliever Saturday afternoon … Sutter struck out 129 in 1977. Marmol struck out the side in the ninth, number 129, 130 and 131 for the season.

The Cubs produced a win on Saturday afternoon … It is always a great day when the Cubs beat the Cardinals.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Jeff Samardzija will face Jake Westbrook in the series and season finale against the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. The Chicago National League Ball Club is 35-45 at Wrigley this season with one more left to play at the old ballyard.

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax