Game Sixty-Two – Cubs 5 Phillies 7
WP – Roy Halladay (9-3) LP – Carlos Zambrano (5-3) Save – Antonio Bastardo (2)
To the Cubs credit they did not quit for the second game in a row … but they came up a couple of runs short Friday night in Philadelphia. The Cubs are still the only team in the majors that has yet to win three games in a row this season.
Carlos Zambrano struggled with his command Friday night and issued a season-high seven walks. Four of the free passes he issued scored on two home runs, a two-run homer by Domonic Brown in the second and a grand slam off the bat of Placido Polanco in the seventh. The Phillies plated six of the seven runs off Zambrano with two swings of the bat.
Z threw a season-high 128 pitches, most since May of 2008, and it was pitch number 128 that turned a 3-0 deficit into what appeared to be another embarrassing loss. Even with the bullpen being taxed Thursday night, Carlos Zambrano should have never been left in to face Ryan Howard, much less Placido Polanco. Simply said, Mike Quade left another starting pitcher in too long.
The Cubs only highlight in the first seven innings came in the fourth when Zambrano struck out Jimmy Rollins to end the inning. It was the 1500th strikeout of Zambrano’s career.
Z’s final line on Friday night in Philly: seven runs on seven hits with seven walks (one intentional) and five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Z served up two home runs and threw 128 pitches, 68 for strikes.
The Cubs offense was able to get their hits against Roy Halladay but not when it counted. Halladay did not have his best stuff but still struck out nine (five to the first nine batters he faced) and allowed six hits in seven innings of work. The Cubs did not manage a single free pass against Roy Halladay.
Roy Halladay more than earned his first career victory against the Chicago Cubs (1-3).
The Cubs made the game very interesting after Roy Halladay departed. The Cubs scored five runs in the eighth against the Phillies’ pen, the first time since May 30 the Cubs plated more than four runs in a single game.
Aramis Ramirez (1-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored) drove in the Cubs first two runs with a bases loaded single off Jose Contreras. Geovany Soto plated a run with a single and Luis Montanez drove in two with a pinch-hit single.
Starlin Castro (2-for-5 with a double and a run scored) jump-started the Cubs five-run eighth inning that put runners on second and third with one out.
The Cubs out hit the Phillies (10-8) and finished the game 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight on base. The difference in Friday’s game was the Phillies took what Zambrano gave them … a ton of walks.
With Friday night’s loss, the Cubs dropped back to 12 games below .500 with a 25-37 record … Carlos Zambrano issued his first walk of the night to the first batter he faced, Jimmy Rollins. Shane Victorino followed with a single to center, Rollins advanced to third and Zambrano was in trouble right away.
Chase Utley hit a 1-0 pitch back up the box. The ball hit Zambrano; he picked it up then caught Rollins in a run down between home and third. Rollins was eventually tagged out but was smart enough to prolong the run down. Victorino and Utley advanced to second and third on the head’s up play.
Ryan Howard grounded out to first and plated Victorino with the first run of the game.
Placido Polanco grounded out to second to end the inning. Zambrano escaped the first with minimal damage.
The Cubs did nothing against Roy Halladay in the second.
Zambrano walked Raul Ibanez on four pitches to start the bottom of the second … and it cost Z a pair of runs. Zambrano served up a 1-1 pitch to the Phillies’ right fielder and Domonic Brown put it over the wall in right … 3-0 Phillies on Brown’s second homer of the season.
The game remained 3-0 until the bottom of the seventh when the Phillies appeared to put the game well out of reach. Zambrano started the inning by walking Jimmy Rollins … the third leadoff walk issued by Big Z on Friday night. Shane Victorino dropped a bunt up the third base line. Ramirez threw out Victorino as Rollins advanced to second.
After a visit from Mike Quade, Carlos Zambrano was left in and walked Utley to face Ryan Howard with two on and one out. Z got ahead of Howard 0-2 before walking him to load the bases.
Zambrano fell behind Placido Polanco 2-0 then threw one right down main that Polanco deposited into the stands beyond the left field wall. Polanco’s 100th career homer, a grand slam, gave the Phillies a comfortable 7-0 lead.
Mike Quade then went to his pen and brought in James Russell. Ibanez reached on a long single off the wall in right but Russell struck out Brown for the second out. Carlos Ruiz reached on an error by James Russell then Ben Francisco looked at strike three to end the inning.
With the Phillies up 7-0, Charlie Manuel decided Roy Halladay’s night was over.
Jose Contreras took over in the top of the eighth and walked Kosuke Fukudome to start the inning, the Cubs first free pass of the night. Darwin Barney grounded into a 5-4 fielder’s choice. Starlin Castro doubled to left on a 0-2 pitch. With runners on second and third and one out, Carlos Pena worked a walk to load the bases.
Aramis Ramirez continued hitting Contreras and ripped a two-run single into right center. Barney and Castro scored the Cubs first two runs of the game. Manuel went to his pen and brought in J.C. Romero to face Blake DeWitt.
DeWitt walked on four pitches against the southpaw to reload the bases.
Geovany Soto worked the count to 3-2 before lining a single into left. Pena scored and the Cubs were down 7-3. Luis Montanez hit for Tyler Colvin and ripped a single into right on a 1-2 pitch. Ramirez and DeWitt scored … 7-5 Phillies.
After D.J. LeMahieu was announced, Manuel made another pitching change and brought in Michael Stutes. Quade countered with Brad Snyder and he looked at strike three. With two on (first and second) and two out, Kosuke popped up the first pitch into short left. Inning and threat over …
Jeff Samardzija sat down Rollins, Victorino and Utley in order in the eighth.
Darwin Barney led off the ninth and worked a walk against Michael Stutes. Starlin Castro swung at a ball in the dirt and well out of the strike zone on a 1-2 pitch. Castro whiffed but Barney tried to advance on the play. Ruiz threw out Barney for the second out of the inning.
Charlie Manuel went to his pen again and brought in lefty Antonio Bastardo to face Carlos Pena … three pitches later, game over.
The Cubs did not quit Friday night …
Matt Garza will face Cliff Lee in game three on Saturday afternoon.