Game Sixty-Three – Cubs 1 Phillies 7
WP – Cliff Lee (6-5) LP – Matt Garza (2-6) Save – None
For the eighth time this season, the Cubs had to wait on the rain but like so many other times this season, the rain just delayed the inevitable. After the weather postponed the start of the game 32 minutes, the Cubs did could not do much against Cliff Lee but were down by only one run going into the bottom of the seventh.
Matt Garza kept his team close and held the Phillies to two runs, one earned, in his six innings of work (Garza walked three, struck out four and threw 113 pitches, 65 for strikes). When Garza turned the ball over to Sean Marshall, the Cubs were down 2-1.
The Phillies scored five of their seven runs off Sean Marshall and Casey Coleman in the last two innings. Marshall, and the Cubs defense, gave up a pair of runs in the seventh … the first time in 20 road outings that Marshall has allowed any runs. Blake DeWitt misplayed a ball of the bat of Raul Ibanez into a double that drove in Ryan Howard with the Phillies’ fourth run.
Casey Coleman was activated prior to Saturday’s game and continued his struggles at the Major League level. Coleman gave up three runs on two hits and a walk in his inning of work. Chase Utley hit a two-run shot off Coleman that turned another loss into another embarrassment. Mike Quade continues to misuse his players and it cost him once again Saturday.
The Cubs offense was pretty much non-existent against Cliff Lee. Q’s squad managed just four hits, two by Darwin Barney, and Luis Montanez drove in the Cubs only run. Blake DeWitt recorded the Cubs fourth hit, a single to lead off the sixth.
With just one run Saturday, the Cubs have been outscored 48-23 over the first nine games of the current 10-game trip.
The Cubs “defense” was charged with two more errors Saturday and now lead the league in charged errors with 52. The Cubs have committed many more miscues than they’ve been charged with this season.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped back to 13 games under .500 on the season with a 25-38 record … Saturday’s game started on a bad note for Matt Garza. Jimmy Rollins hit a soft liner on a 2-1 pitch to Darwin Barney. The ball appeared to be tailing a little bit but still a play a major leaguer should make. Barney dropped the ball and Rollins was safe at first.
Shane Victorino followed with an infield single off Barney’s glove. Barney made a diving attempt into the 3-4 hole, got a glove on it and kept Rollins from advancing to third.
Chase Utley stepped in and ripped a 1-0 pitch into left center. Rollins scored easily with the always-hustling Victorino right behind him … 2-0 Phillies.
Ryan Howard grounded out to Castro in the shift. Utley advanced to third and Quade moved his infield in. Garza took it up a notch and struck out both Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez swinging to end the inning.
Matt Garza retired Domonic Brown and Carlos Ruiz to start the second but Cliff Lee singled to left center on a 2-2 pitch. Garza then walked Jimmy Rollins to prolong the inning. Shane Victorino smoked a 0-1 pitch to first but right at Carlos Pena to end the inning.
At the end of two, the Phillies had a 2-0 lead and Cliff Lee was cruising. Garza had thrown nearly twice as many pitches (Garza – 47 total, 28 for strikes; Lee – 26 total, 17 for strikes) and Lee had not allowed a hit.
Lee retired Tyler Colvin and Matt Garza quickly to start the third. Starlin Castro worked the Cubs second walk of the game. Darwin Barney notched the Cubs first hit of the game, and his first hit of the series, with a grounder into left off Polanco’s glove.
Luis Montanez blooped a 2-2 pitch into shallow right just out of the reach of Chase Utley. Castro scored … 2-1 Phillies.
Aramis Ramirez popped out to Utley in shallow right on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
Garza sat down the Phillies in order in the bottom of the third … and Lee retired the Cubs in order in the top of the fourth.
The Phillies put two on with one out against Garza in the bottom of the fourth. Domonic Brown walked with one out and advanced to second on a single to left center by Carlos Ruiz. Cliff Lee stepped in, squared to bunt, pulled the bat back and hit a grounder to Castro at short. Castro threw to Barney but Lee hustled down the line and reached without a throw.
With runners on first and third with two outs, Jimmy Rollins flied out to right to end the inning.
Cliff Lee retired the Cubs in order in the fifth … and after five Lee’s pitch count stood at 72 pitches, 47 for strikes.
Matt Garza kept pace with Lee and retired the Phillies in order in the bottom of the fifth … and after five, Garza’s pitch count stood at 89 pitches, 52 for strikes.
The Phillies had another chance to put the game out of reach in the bottom of the sixth … with help from the Cubs defense. Placido Polanco reached on an infield single to the hole at short. Raul Ibanez then hit a chopper to Barney who threw to second to force Polanco but Castro’s throw was a little late (very close) to first.
The Cubs second error of the game (52nd of the year, worst in the league) put runners on second and third. Domonic Brown hit a ball to the third base side of the mound. Garza picked up the ball and threw to first. Once again Garza rushed his throw and Pena could not keep it in front of him.
Garza intentionally walked Carlos Ruiz to load the bases.
Cliff Lee struck out swinging for the second out … and Jimmy Rollins grounded out to second to end the inning.
The Cubs recorded their fourth hit of Lee in the top of the seventh, a leadoff single by Blake DeWitt but he did not move from first base … Soto popped out to left, Pena struck out and Colvin grounded out to second.
The Phillies tacked on two in the bottom of the seventh off Sean Marshall.
Shane Victorino ripped Marshall’s first pitch down the third base line … somehow past Aramis Ramirez who was right on the line. Chase Utley grounded out to second on the first pitch. Victorino advanced to third on the play.
Marshall jumped out ahead of Ryan Howard 0-2 but the Phillies’ slugger worked the count back to 3-2 before ripping a single into right. Victorino scored … 3-1 Phillies.
Placido Polanco popped out to right for the second out.
Marshall got ahead of Raul Ibanez 1-2 before the veteran reached out and poked Marshall’s next pitch into left. Blake DeWitt tried to make a diving catch instead of playing the ball on the hop. DeWitt missed, the ball rolled past him, Ibanez ended up with a double and Howard scored the Phillies’ fourth run. Marshall retired Brown on a ground out to third to end the inning.
Casey Coleman, who was just activated Saturday morning, pitched the eighth and his command problems continued. Casey walked Carlos Ruiz to start his day. Michael Martinez hit for Cliff Lee and sacrificed Ruiz to second. Carlos Pena robbed Jimmy Rollins of at least a double with an excellent diving stop on the first base line. Ruiz advanced to third on the play.
Shane Victorino blooped a 1-1 pitch just out of the reach of Castro in short center. Ruiz scored … 5-1. Chase Utley launched a 2-2 pitch over the wall in right … 7-1 Phillies. And the Cubs offense went quietly in the ninth to end the game.
Look, what can you say … It’s a Way of Life!
Doug Davis against Roy Oswalt in the series finale Sunday afternoon.