Long Rain Delay Washes Away Cubs Sunday Drought – Cubs 3 Pirates 2

Game Fifty-One – Cubs 3 Pirates 2
WP – Ryan Dempster (4-4) LP – Jeff Karstens (3-4) Save – Carlos Marmol (10)

wflag.jpgThe Cubs season-long Sunday losing streak finally came to an end (1-7) after rain delayed the start of the game two hours and 34 minutes … it only took two hours and 36 minutes for the Cubs and Pirates to play the finale of the three game series.

The game started the way Saturday’s ended with the Pirates scoring runs and the Cubs swinging away at the plate. The Pirates scored two runs on a two-out double by Lyle Overbay in the first and Jeff Karstens faced the minimum in the bottom of the first on eight pitches.

Aramis Ramirez (1-for-3 with a home run) led off the second by lining the first pitch from Karstens into the first row of the bleachers in left. Ramirez’s first homer since April 6 ended a streak of 155 at bats without a longball and appeared to loosen up his teammates. Carlos Pena (1-for-3 with a run scored) followed with a single and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly to right off the bat of Koyie Hill.

The Cubs took the lead in the third after a leadoff double by Kosuke Fukudome (2-for-4 with a run scored). Darwin Barney (2-for-3 with a sac bunt, 21st multi-hit game) sacrificed Fukudome to third and Starlin Castro drove in the eventual winning run with a sacrifice fly to right.

The Cubs actually manufactured two of their three runs on Sunday afternoon

After a shaky start, Ryan Dempster settled down somewhat and put together a quality start. Dempster labored through six innings of work and allowed two runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts, both runs scored with two outs in the first inning. Dempster retired the Pirates in order once and threw 105 pitches, 64 for strikes.

Ryan Dempster won his third straight home start and evened his record at 4-4 on the season.

Kerry Wood worked a scoreless seventh and threw 21 pitches, 11 for strikes. Sean Marshall put together one of the two three-up, three-down innings in the eighth. Marshall sat down the heart of the Pirates order on six pitches.

Carlos Marmol took the hill in the ninth for just his second save opportunity since May 2. Marmol issued a one-out walk to Chris Snyder but after a sensational play by Starlin Castro on a dribbler past the mound to nail Brandon Wood at first, Marmol struck out Ronny Cedeno on three pitches to end the game.

With Sunday’s win, the Cubs improved to 23-28 on the season, five games below the mediocre mark. Q’s squad is 2-4 against the Pirates in 2011 and 3-3 on the current nine-game homestand …

Ryan Dempster retired Jose Tabata and Garrett Jones quickly to start the game. Dempster looked sharp but appeared to lose his rhythm after slipping and falling on the mound on a 1-2 pitch to Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen ended up walking and so did Neil Walker … on four pitches.

Dempster fell behind Lyle Overbay 2-0 (seven straight out of the strike zone) before laying one in that cost him two runs. Overbay ripped a double into right. McCutchen and Walked scored … 2-0 Pirates. Ryan Doumit grounded out to second on a 2-1 pitch to end the inning.

Dempster threw 25 pitches in the first, 11 for strikes.

The Cubs offense was extremely aggressive in the first inning. Darwin Barney singled to right center but was erased on a 5-4-3 double play off the bat of Starlin Castro. After allowing Paul Maholm to throw only 91 pitches Saturday afternoon, Jeff Karstens faced the minimum and threw only eight pitches, all for strikes, in the first.

Dempster retired the Pirates in order in the top of the second.

Aramis Ramirez started the second by lining the first pitch from Jeff Karstens into the first row of the bleachers in left. Ramirez cut the Pirates lead in half with his second home run of the season … first since April 6.

Carlos Pena followed with a single to right on a 2-0 pitch. Alfonso Soriano showed rare patience, worked the count to 3-1 and ended up flying out to right. Tony Campana followed with an infield single to Ronny Cedeno. Quade called for the hit and run, Cedeno had to try to go back and get the ball. Cedeno’s throw was late and got away from Overbay. Pena ended up at third with one down.

Koyie Hill got just enough of a 2-1 pitch to hit it out into medium depth right center. Pena tagged and scored just ahead the throw from Garrett Jones. Pena actually slid in and through Ryan Doumit’s left leg and the Pirates’ catcher had to leave the game.

With the game tied at two, Ryan Dempster struck out looking to end the inning.

After Dempster worked around a two-out single by Andrew McCutchen in the top of the third without allowing any runs, the Cubs manufactured a run in the bottom of the inning.

Kosuke Fukudome worked the count to 3-2 before ripping a double to right on the ninth pitch of the at bat. Darwin Barney dropped a bunt up the first base line. Karstens fielded and tagged Barney out as Fukudome advanced to third.

Starlin Castro lined the first pitch he saw into right … and Fukudome tagged and scored, 3-2 Cubs. The first lead of the weekend for Q’s squad.

Dempster faced the minimum in the top of the fourth and the Cubs did nothing against Jeff Karstens in the home half.

The Pirates help bail Dempster out of a possible jam in the top of the fifth. Dempster retired Ronny Cedeno on a foul out to Pena. Karstens worked the count to 3-2 before grounding out to first. Jose Tabata ripped Dempster’s first pitch into center to keep the inning going for the heart of the order.

Dempster fell behind Garrett Jones 3-0. Tabata took off for second on Dempster’s next pitch. The inside offering was called a strike as Hill threw to second. Castro caught the ball and tagged Tabata as he slid into the bag. Tabata was called out, inning over.

The Cubs put two on with two out in the bottom of the fifth. Dempster singled to left with one out and was forced at second when Fukudome hit a grounder to Walker. Kosuke beat the throw and advanced to second on a single to right by Darwin Barney. Castro swung at the first pitch and grounded out to third to end the inning (Wood, unassisted).

Ryan Dempster survived the sixth and turned the game over to Kerry Wood.

Kerry Wood took over Dempster in the seventh. Wood was not sharp and worked his way in and out of a jam. Sunday ended up being only the third time in his last nine appearances that he has not allowed a run or an inherited run to score.

Chris Snyder greeted Wood with a single to center on Wood’s first pitch … the ninth time in last 10 appearances that Wood has allowed at least one hit. Brandon Wood tried to bunt Snyder to second but popped up to a diving Koyie Hill in foul ground for the first out. Ronny Cedeno flied out to center but Wood walked pinch-hitter Xavier Paul on five pitches.

Jose Tabata worked the count to 3-2 then flied out to deep center to end the inning.

Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol made the slim one-run lead hold up in the eighth and ninth.

After a horrible game on Saturday and a bad start to Sunday’s finale against the Pirates, it was good to see the Cubs battle back and hang on for a win.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs and Astros kick off a three-game series on Memorial Day. Rodrigo Lopez, in his Cubs debut, will face Aneury Rodriguez.

Quote of the Day

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else." - Charles Dickens
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  • studio179

    “Aramis Ramirez (1-for-3 with a home run) led off the second by lining the first pitch from Karstens into the first row of the bleachers in left. Ramirez’s first homer since April 6 ended a streak of 155 at bats without a longball…”

    Wow. I knew it was early April and a lot of ABs in between HRs for Ramirez. I heard Pat say he was a Pirate the last time he went that long without a homer. 

  • paulcatanese

    Will it be another 155 AB for Aram till the next one? The clock starts now.

    On a positive note Castro with that line drive sac fly to right really looked
    like a #3 hiiter, good swing and very square contact.
    And the play he made in the ninth 1 out of a hundred trys, fantastic on a very
    difficult chance.

    Two or three different heros in one ballgame,good win.

  • garrett

    Neil have you heard anything about the rumor that DJ LeMahieu has been called up?  

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Garrett, sorry I stepped away from the computer. Yes I have, nothing confirmed just a tweet from Micah Gibbs from what I can tell.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Several of LeMahieu’s college teammates are tweeting the same. Again, nothing confirmed.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I will say this, if he has been and unless there is an injury or a trade that gives him regular playing time it’s another mistake by the Cubs management. If it to replace Jeff Baker it is a bad move.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        I’d really like for DJ LeMahieu to get a bump to AAA first. Just so he can play everyday. I know he doesn’t need the minors time as much as others but I do not see a way for him to get enough AB’s fpr the big club to ruin an option and move him on to the 40 man.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Agreed. I do not have a problem with them calling players up from Double-A, that is really the norm now, but unless he is going to play everyday this is a bad move. I’m very happy for him but this is not the right move for the future of the player.

          Believe me I hope I am wrong.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

            Maybe we are wrong and this is a step in the right direction with the youth movement everyone has been waiting for. I hope that it isn’t a signal that the Cubs are going to bring these guys up and set them on the bench until Baker and Johnson come back.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Confirmed, LeMahieu is on his way to the Show.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I watch the Runs Scored/Runs allowed differential of a team. The reason is simple: over a long season, if a team scores more runs that it allows, it will be over .500, ie., a winning team. 

    The Pirates run differential right now is -7, ie., they have scored seven less runs than they have allowed. The Cubs run differential is  -34. What you have is a Pirates team that is on the rise, Cubs’ fans. If they get a little more run support with this pitching, they will be ahead of the Cubs when this season is over.

    On another note, the SF Giants are on their way down. They are the only MLB team with a winning record and a negative run differential. They will not be able to sustain a winning record with that little bit of offense. If you are expecting them to win their division, FORGETABOUTIT. Brian Sabean will have to make a deal to save their season. I don’t know if he can pull it off or not. Right now–with this team–theyain’tgoin’nowhere.

    Besides, Arizona just passed them by.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Arizona Diamondbacks. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!! Aaron Heilman, with his 8.62 ERA, just won again today–he’s 4-0–on Xavier Nady’s game winning RBI double.

    FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

  • Ripsnorter1

    I’d be pleased if the Braves can knock off the Reds togight. 

  • paulcatanese

    I see where we are in the schedule that is approaching the All Star game.
    Every team must be represented,who will it be from the Cubs?
    I am looking over the team and I just cannot determine who is qualified.
    Three players come to mind.
    Marmol,he is one of the better relievers in the National League if he continues
    on his present pace.
    Castro, argueably the best all around player the Cubs have.
    Barney, next to Castro, the next best. But he isn’t on the Ballot.
    I would also consider Zambrano,as he has the best record to date.
    These players do not really belong on the All Star team as there are
    many more who have better records. This year as last will be a disappoinment
    for Cub fans once again.

    .

    • Ripsnorter1

      IMO, it’s Castro and perhaps Marmol. Castro has more hits than any player in MLB except Ichiro since the All-Star break last year. He deserves to be on the team.

      Marmol will be chosen if the NL manager wants a shut down closer–and he deserves to be chosen, imo.

      I just don’t think Quade deserves to be chosen. LOL

      • paulcatanese

        Ijust thought I would throw that post out there to give a little change of pace.
        Agree with both you and Richard about Castro,boy that would be a big deal
        for him. Marmol, yes he will be there. It’s a little ironic that the best players
        on the Cubs with combined salarys make less than even Pena.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      If set up men had a chance to go I would be all for Marshall but that just does not happen much with a bad club’s middle guys.

    • diehardcubfan

      Castro in my opinion will be the lone Cub All Star.  As noted he has the second most hits in the ML since last all star break with 150 and counting.

  • JedMosley

    Paul Sullivan confirms it, LeMahieu gets called up for the game on Monday….I don’t understand this move…