Game One Hundred Fifty-Nine – Cubs 1 Padres 0
WP – Sean Marshall (7-5) LP – Heath Bell (6-1) Save – Carlos Marmol (37)
Nothing will ever make up for 1984 but Q’s crew pushed the San Diego Padres to the brink of elimination on Thursday night. The Cubs took three of four in San Diego and won for the ninth time in ten games on the road under Mike Quade.
The Cubs pitching staff was just a little better than the Padres in a game Bud Black’s bunch had to win. Tom Gorzelanny, Andrew Cashner, Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol threw a shutout and allowed just three hits. Sean Marshall picked up the win and Carlos Marmol earned his 37th save with a perfect ninth.
In a battle of two very bad offenses, the Cubs broke the scoreless tie in the ninth thanks to a bloop, a sacrifice bunt and a RBI single by a rookie outfielder.
Aramis Ramirez led off the ninth with a bloop single to right center off of Heath Bell. Darwin Barney ran for him and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Xavier Nady. Brad Snyder stepped in a bounced a 2-2 pitch into left out of the range of Miguel Tejada. Barney scored the go ahead run.
Carlos Marmol retired Miguel Tejada on a groundout to short … then struck out Adrian Gonzalez and Ryan Ludwick swinging to end the game.
Q’s crew won for the second time in the series by a 1-0 final … and handed Heath Bell his first loss of the year.
Tom Gorzelanny finished his 2010 season on a positive note. Gorzelanny pitched six innings of shutout ball. The southpaw surrendered just three hits, struck out three but walked four, one intentional, on 89 pitches … 40 for strikes.
The Cubs pen was just a little better than the Padres pen. Cashner, Marshall and Marmol did not allow a single baserunner over the last three innings and struck out five of the nine batters they faced.
Brad Snyder came up big late in the game subbing for the injured Kosuke Fukudome. Snyder made a terrific diving catch to take away a hit from Chris Denorfia to start the eighth … then delivered the game winner in the ninth. Snyder finished the game with just one hit in four trips to the plate, along with two strikeouts, but his fifth big league RBI gave his team a win.
The Cubs finished the year with a 3-5 record against the Padres. Thursday’s win improved the Cubs record to 22-12 under Mike Quade (15-4 on the road) and with three left to play, the Cubs own a 73-86 record … The Cubs won for the 22nd time in 54 one-run games (22-32) on Thursday night … and in the process all but ended the Padres season. The Cubs did not light up the scoreboard and managed only one run in the last 18 innings of the series, but the one-run was just enough.
Cubs pitching did an excellent job against Adrian Gonzalez in the series. They held the Padres’ first baseman hitless in 13 at bats over the four-game series.
Tom Gorzelanny dodged a big inning in the sixth. After going pretty much pitch-for-pitch with Jon Garland for five innings, Gorzelanny walked David Eckstein and Miguel Tejada to start the sixth. Adrian Gonzalez swung a 2-1 offering and grounded into a 6-3 double play. Eckstein advanced to third but Gorzelanny was able to retire Ryan Ludwick on a fly out to center to end the inning.
Gorzelanny bent a couple of times Thursday night … but he never broke.
Andrew Cashner looked very good in his 1 1/3 innings of work. Cashner struck out two of the five batters he faced … and threw his fastball in the upper 90s once again.
Jon Garland put together a very good game against the Cubs. Garland pitched 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball and surrendered just four hits. Garland walked one and struck out eight.
The Cubs best chance to put a run on the board against Garland came in the sixth. Blake DeWitt led off with a double but Starlin Castro could not get down a bunt. Castro ended up striking out. Marlon Byrd flied out to deep center, DeWitt advanced but Aramis Ramirez struck out looking on a 3-2 pitch.
Maybe after this series the Padres will quit bringing up 1984 every time the Cubs come into town.
The Cubs begin their final series of the season Friday night in Houston … Casey Coleman against Bud Norris in game one.