Game One Hundred Thirty-Four – Cubs 5 Pirates 3
WP – Thomas Diamond (1-3) LP – James McDonald (2-5) Save – Carlos Marmol (25)
Q’s crew did just enough on Wednesday afternoon to beat the Pirates for only the fifth time this season … a 5-10 record against Pittsburgh is just one of the many reasons the Cubs have been below .500 all season.
The Cubs improved to 6-3 under Mike Quade and Thomas Diamond earned his first big league win after a comebacker knocked Tom Gorzelanny out of the game in the third inning. Gorzelanny was hit in the left hand on a rocket hit back up the middle by Jose Tabata. Gorzelanny appeared to put his left hand up to keep the ball from hitting him in the face. Gorzelanny left the game with two outs in the third and was taken to the hospital for X-Rays. X-Rays came back inconclusive but did show no displacement. Gorzelanny will have additional tests on Thursday after being hit for the second time this season.
Gorzelanny left with a one-run lead … but it did not last long. Thomas Diamond served up a solo homer to Neil Walker that tied the game at one. Diamond settled down and completed 1 2/3 innings in relief of Gorzelanny and earned his first big league win. Diamond allowed two runs on two his with three strikeouts, a walk and a hit batsman.
Scott Maine and Andrew Cashner put up a pair of scoreless innings before Quade turned to the veterans. Sean Marshall was credited with an unearned run in the eighth. Starlin Castro’s 22nd error of the year led to the free-run after Carlos Marmol walked Andrew McCutchen with the bases loaded.
Carlos Marmol was both light outs and infuriating once again. Marmol picked up his 25th save and struck out three in 1 1/3 innings but he also walked three … including the first two batters he faced in the eighth.
Kosuke Fukudome hitting out of the three-hole of Mike Quade’s lineup led the offense. Fukudome kept swinging his hot bat and notched a 3-for-3 afternoon with two doubles, a walk, a RBI and two runs scored. Fukudome broke up the one-one tie in the bottom of the third with a double that plated Starlin Castro.
Starlin Castro raised his batting average to .317 with a 2-for-4 performance that included a stolen base and two runs scored.
All five of the Cubs runs were scored on five different hits … and driven in by five different players. Q’s offense finished the afternoon a miserable 3-for-14 with RISP and left nine on base.
The Cubs improved to 57-77 on the year with Wednesday’s win and series victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates … The Cubs jumped on the board first Wednesday afternoon. Darwin Barney (2-fpr-4 with a run scored) reached on a two-out single to right in the second. Koyie Hill followed with a double into the right field corner. Barney scored all the way from first … 1-0 Cubs.
Tom Gorzelanny had allowed only two hits in the first two innings and retired Andrew McCutchen on a ground out to short to start the third. Jose Tabata stepped in and ripped his first pitch right back up the middle. The ball bounced to Blake DeWitt and he threw out Tabata at first for the second out … but all eyes were on Tom Gorzelanny as he lay on the mound in obvious pain.
Gorzelanny was lifted and went for X-rays.
Thomas Diamond came in and fell behind Neil Walker (3-for-5 with a home run, a run scored and a double) 3-1. Walker deposited Diamond’s next pitch into the bleacher in left … game tied at one.
Starlin Castro reached on a one-out bloop single in the bottom of the inning. Kosuke Fukudome then smacked a 2-1 offering from James McDonald off the vines in left center. Castro scored … 2-1 Cubs.
After Micah Hoffpauir struck out and a wild pitch advanced Fukudome to third, Tyler Colvin delivered with two outs. Colvin just missed a home run but settled with a double off the ivy in right. Fukudome scored … 3-1 Cubs.
Thomas Diamond got into trouble in the fifth after issuing a walk to James McDonald. Andrew McCutchen doubled him in … 3-2 Cubs. Diamond then ended his afternoon by hitting Jose Tabata.
Scott Maine came in and retired Neil Walker on a ground out to third … thanks to an excellent play by Darwin Barney. Barney started the game at third (finished at second) and made the play of the game. Walker hit a grounder up the third base line that took a tricky hop toward foul ground. Barney snagged the ball and threw to second to force Tabata. Maine struck out Garrett Jones to preserve the 3-2 advantage.
After failing to score in the fifth with runners on second and third with no outs, the Cubs tacked on two big runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Daniel McCutchen hit Starlin Castro to start the inning. Wil Ledezma replaced McCutchen and gave up a double to Kosuke Fukudome. With runners on second and third with no outs, Micah Hoffpauir singled to right. Castro scored … 4-2 Cubs.
Tyler Colvin popped out for the first out and John Russell went to his pen for Chan Ho Park.
Jeff Baker recorded a rare hit off a right-hander and chopped a single into left through the drawn in infield. Fukudome scored … 5-2 Cubs. Darwin Barney struck out and Koyie Hill flied out to deep right to end the inning.
The Pirates made it 5-3 in the eighth … and it could have been more.
Sean Marshall walked Ryan Doumit with one out and Ronny Cedeno reached on a fielder error by Starlin Castro. Marshall struck out Chris Snyder and Quade went to his pen for Carlos Marmol … Quade also made his third double switch of the game.
Aramis Ramirez came into the game, Baker shifted to second and Marmol walked pinch-hitter Delwyn Young to load the bases.
Marmol got ahead of Andrew McCutchen 0-2 before walking him and forcing in the Pirates third run. Marmol struck out Tabata to end the inning.
Carlos Marmol struggled with his command again in the ninth. After striking out Neil Walker to start the inning, he walked Garrett Jones after being ahead 1-2. Pedro Alvarez popped out to short on the first pitch of the at bat. Ryan Doumit stepped in and struck out swinging on three pitches to end the game.
It’s never easy … but it always good to see the Cubs win a game.
Thursday is the first of three straight Thursdays without a game as the season comes to a conclusion. The Mets make their annual trip to Wrigley on Friday … Randy Wells versus R.A. Dickey in the first of three against the Metropolitans.