Game Seventeen – Cubs 2 Padres 1 – 11 innings
WP – Jeff Samardzija (1-0) LP – Luke Gregerson (0-1) Save – None
Q’s squad managed only one unearned run over the first nine innings against Dustin Moseley and the Padres’ pen. Marlon Byrd finally came through with runners in scoring position and Matt Garza and the Cubs’ pen made the single run hold up until the ninth.
Carlos Marmol blew his second save of the season, both in games started by Matt Garza at Wrigley Field. The Padres tied the game at one in the top of the ninth and the game remained knotted at one until the bottom of the 11th.
Reed Johnson led off the 11th and lined a 1-1 pitch from Luke Gregerson into the bleachers in left. His teammates greeted him at the plate as the Cubs celebrated their second win in a row.
Matt Garza put together his best outing of the season. Garza struck out nine, with six coming in the first three innings. Garza gave up six hits, all singles with three not leaving the infield and walked three. In two starts at Wrigley, Garza has not surrendered an extra base hit.
The Cubs pen was effective but not that good in relief of Garza. The Cubs walked nine batters in the first game Wednesday with the pen issuing six of the free passes. The Padres left an astounding 16 runners on base. A better offense likely would have made the Cubs pay for all of the extra baserunners.
Jeff Samardzija picked up his first victory of the season after an inconsistent outing. Samardzija walked three, struck out three and gave up two hits but no runs in two innings.
With the victory in game one, the Cubs improved to 9-8 on the season and won the series against the San Diego Padres …
Garza struck out the side in the first. His former teammate, Jason Bartlett, reached on a one-out bloop single to right but that was it for the Padres in the first.
Garza continued his effectiveness in the second. Nick Hundley reached on an infield single to start the inning but Garza struck out Ryan Ludwick looking, Brad Hawpe swinging and Eric Patterson flied out to right center to end the inning.
The Padres continued having problems with Garza in the third. Garza retired the side in order and at the end of three Garza had thrown only 47 pitches, 31 for strikes.
While the Padres had their hands full with Matt Garza, the Cubs could not figure out Dustin Moseley … until the third inning.
Geovany Soto led off the third with a double down the left field line on a 2-2 pitch. Matt Garza was asked to sacrifice his catcher to third but could not. Garza bunted back to Moseley who threw to third and nailed Soto. Garza reached first and advanced to second when Jason Bartlett dropped a throw from his pitcher.
Starlin Castro hit a 1-2 pitch back to Moseley who threw to second to start the inning ending double play. Bartlett dropped the ball and both Garza and Castro were safe.
Orlando Hudson took a hit away from Barney with a diving stop on a ball ticketed for centerfield. Castro was forced at second but Garza advanced to third on the play.
With runners on first and second with two outs, Marlon Byrd singled to center on a 1-0 pitch. Garza scored the first run of his big league career. After a four-pitch walk to Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Pena grounded out to first, with the bases loaded, to end the inning.
The game remained 1-0 into the sixth. Matt Garza had thrown the ball extremely well and entered the inning with a low pitch count (79). Garza had not walked a batter … but that all changed with the first batter of the inning.
Orlando Hudson walked to start the inning, the first free pass issued by Matt Garza at Wrigley Field. At that point Garza lost his command and walked Chase Headley.
With runners on first and second with no outs, Nick Hundley tapped back to the mound on a 3-2 pitch. Garza knocked the ball down but could only get one out, Hundley at first. Both runners advanced into scoring position with one out.
Ryan Ludwick stepped in and walked on a 3-2 pitch. With the bases loaded and down by one, Brad Hawpe grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Garza left after six innings and 114 pitches, 70 for strikes.
The Padres kept put runners on base from the seventh inning on … and each time, but the ninth, the Cubs’ pitchers were able to wiggle their way out of trouble.
Carlos Marmol took the hill in the ninth with the Cubs up 1-0. Marmol retired Jorge Cantu on a fly out to left on a 3-2 pitch. Marmol then walked Cameron Maybin on four pitches. With Will Venable at the plate, Maybin stole second and advanced to third on a bunt single to third by Venable … the first base hit for either team since the fifth inning.
Jason Bartlett stepped in with runners on first and third with one out. Venable stole second, his third stolen base of the game. With the tying run on third and the go ahead run in scoring position, Bartlett hit a sac fly to center. Maybin scored and tied the game at one.
Carlos Marmol struck out Orlando Hudson swinging to end the inning. But the damage had been done.
The Cubs could not string together any hits in the ninth and it was onto the tenth.
Jeff Samardzija worked his way in and out of trouble in the tenth and eleventh innings. Samardzija walked three, struck out three and gave up a pair of hits in two innings of work. Samardzija threw 49 pitches, 29 for strikes.
The Padres put runners on second and third with one out in the tenth and came away empty after Alberto Gonzalez flied out to deep right center to end the inning. The Padres then loaded the bases with one out in the eleventh but Chase Headley flied out to shallow left and Nick Hundley flied out to center to end the inning.
Reed Johnson led off the bottom of the eleventh. On a 1-1 pitch from Luke Gregerson, Reed Johnson ended game one on a positive note with his first dinger of the season.
The Cubs took care of business in game one and put themselves in position to sweep the series.
Game two of the twinbill … James Russell against Aaron Harang in the nightcap.