Game Forty-Eight – Cubs 9 Mets 3
WP – Carlos Zambrano (5-2) LP – Pedro Beato (1-1) Save – None
Carlos Zambrano not only posted his first win of the season at Wrigley on Thursday afternoon but he also led his team to their first home series win since April (April 18 – April 20 against the Padres), and just the Cubs third winning series at the Friendly Confines in 2011.
Carlos Zambrano contributed on the mound and at the plate during the first six innings of Thursday’ win over the Mets. On the mound, Z allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits with a pair of walks and five strikeouts. Z threw 101 pitches, 62 for strikes. At the plate, Z was a perfect 3-for-3 with double, a run scored and a RBI. Z drove in the Cubs fourth run with a two-out single in the fourth. Zambrano finished the three game series 4-for-4 at the plate with three RBI.
Carlos Pena (1-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, two runs scored and a walk) gave the Cubs the lead for good with his second dinger of the season at Wrigley. Pena ripped a two-run shot over the wall in right in the four-run fourth that turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 Cubs lead. Pena’s sixth home run of the year seemed to relax his teammates as they went onto to score runs in each of their final five at bats.
Alfonso Soriano doubled in a pair of runs in the fifth after the Mets had cut the Cubs lead to 4-2 in the top half of the inning. Soriano finished the afternoon 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and two RBI. Soriano quietly ran his hitting streak to seven games and the Cubs’ left fielder has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games.
Blake DeWitt (2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored) subbing for Aramis Ramirez had a big day at the plate and Tony Campana tallied three hits in his first big league start (3-for-4 with a run scored). Campana made two fine plays in the field in the first inning but was also picked off first in the third after reaching on an infield single.
Kosuke Fukudome (3-for-4 with a walk, a home run and a run scored) hit his first home run of the season in the eighth inning, the Cubs ninth and final run of the game.
Q’s squad pounded out 17 hits and walked three times on a very cold May day at Wrigley Field.
R.A. Dickey was retiring batter after batter until he was forced to leave with two outs in the third. Dickey reportedly hurt his heal after he slipped coming off the mound trying to cover first. Dickey left after allowing four hits and no runs in 2 2/3 innings.
The Cubs defense committed three more errors Thursday afternoon, all in the first three innings of the game. Darwin Barney (2-for-4 with a sac fly and a RBI) was charged with two of the Cubs miscues.
With Thursday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 22-26 on the year, four games below the mediocre mark …
The Cubs really struggled against R.A. Dickey in the first two innings. Dickey faced the minimum in the first after inducing a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Starlin Castro and he retired the Cubs in order in the second.
The Mets got on the board in the third on one hit and two errors. Jose Reyes ripped a double into the right field corner. Reyes was going to settle for a one-out double but after Barney had trouble handling the throw from Fukudome, Reyes took off for third. Barney’s throw hit Reyes and allowed the Mets’ shortstop to hit a Little League home run. Kosuke and Barney received errors and New York took a 1-0 lead.
Z retired Thole (strikeout) and Beltran (pop out to Castro in shallow left) to end the inning.
Tony Campana reached on an infield single just past the mound to start the bottom of third. Dickey caught Campana leaning and picked him off first (1-3-6). Koyie Hill struck out looking but Zambrano singled to right to keep the inning going. Kosuke Fukudome reached on an infield single to Tejada at second because Dickey fell down as he broke to cover first. Dickey left and turned the game over to Pedro Beato.
Darwin Barney grounded out to third (Turner stepped on the bag) to end the inning.
Carlos Zambrano faced the minimum in the top of the fourth.
The Cubs went to work on Pedro Beato in the bottom of the fourth. Starlin Castro walked to start the inning and was on board for Carlos Pena’s sixth home run of the season. After Blake DeWitt flied out to right, Alfonso Soriano reached on an infield single to short. Tony Campana followed with his second hit of the game, a single to center. Soriano advanced to third on the play and scored when Koyie Hill grounded out to second. Campana ended up at third and scored on Zambrano’s single to right … 4-1 Cubs.
Kosuke Fukudome walked but Darwin Barney grounded out to short on the eighth pitch of the at bat to end the inning.
The Mets got one of the four runs back in the top of the fifth. Jason Pridie hit a triple over the head of Campana in center to start the inning. Ruben Tejada popped out and Z struck out pinch hitter Fernando Martinez. Z then walked Jose Reyes on four pitches.
Josh Thole worked the count to 3-2 (behind 0-2) before hitting a flare into left that plated Pridie with the Mets second run. Reyes ended up at third but was stranded when Z struck out Carlos Beltran on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
The Cubs got the run right back, and then some, in the bottom of the fifth. Carlos Pena walked with one out and advanced to third on a single to left by Blake DeWitt. Pena forced the Mets to make a play and he beat the throw to third … DeWitt took second on the play. Good, smart baserunning by the Chicago Cubs.
Alfonso Soriano launched a 0-1 pitch over Jason Bay’s head in left. Pena and DeWitt scored, 6-2 Cubs. Tony Campana grounded out to first (almost beat it out with a head first slide) and Hill fouled out to Daniel Murphy at first to end the inning.
Z retired three of the four batters he faced in the sixth to end his afternoon … on the mound.
Zambrano led off the bottom of the sixth with his third hit of the game, a double to left center. Fukudome reached on a single to center on a ball that went off Pat Misch and Jose Reyes’ glove. With runners on first and third with no outs, Terry Collins went to his pen for Taylor Buchholtz.
Darwin Barney hit a 3-2 pitch into center. Z tagged and scored the Cubs’ seventh run of the game.
Sean Marshall worked around a one-out double by Scott Hairston in the seventh.
Blake DeWitt led off the bottom of the seventh with a double to right. After Soriano struck out, Campana singled to right. Koyie Hill struck out and Quade sent up Luis Montanez to hit for Marshall.
Tim Byrdak uncorked a wild pitch on a 2-1 offering to Montanez. DeWitt scored from third, 8-2 Cubs. Montanez struck out swinging to end the inning.
Kerry Wood labored through a 25-pitch (12 for strikes) top of the eighth and gave up another run. Wood issued a one-out walk to Jason Bay on four pitches. Wood fell behind Murphy 3-0 before the Mets first baseman doubled to right on 3-2 pitch. Justin Turner grounded out to first, Bay scored … 8-3 Cubs. With Murphy at third, Willie Harris was caught looking to end the inning.
Kosuke Fukudome made it 9-3 with his first homer of the season in the bottom of the eighth.
Carlos Marmol put in a little work Thursday afternoon in a non-save situation. Marmol walked a batter (Tejada), gave up a hit (Reyes) but struck out two and did not allow a run. Marmol threw 26 pitches, 15 for strikes.
The Cubs took two of three from the New York Mets … Ron Santo is smiling.
The Cubs welcome the Mighty Pirates back to town for the weekend. Doug Davis versus Kevin Correia in the first of three on Friday afternoon.