A Nightmarish Ninth for Marmol, Quade and the Cubs – Cubs 3 Marlins 6

Game Ninety-Three – Cubs 3 Marlins 6
WP – Edward Mujica (7-2) LP – Carlos Marmol (2-3, BS 7) Save – None

The Chicago Cubs have made losing an art form this season. Just when you thought they had figured out every possible way to lose a ballgame, Mike Quade’s Cubs take the field. After Thursday’s meltdown in the ninth, the Cubs are now a season-low 19 games under .500.

The Cubs took a 2-0 lead into the ninth after Matt Garza and Sean Marshall kept the Marlins off the board for eight innings. The Cubs’ runs scored on a Marlon Byrd homer in the second and Darwin Barney took one for the team (HBP with the bases loaded) in the seventh.

The Marlins scored six runs in the top of the ninth on three hits and five walks.

Carlos Marmol blew his seventh save of the season (third in a game Garza was inline for the win) after he walked the bases loaded … only one of Marmol’s first 13 pitches was a strike. Mike Quade just stood and watched the debacle unfold and did not get anyone up in the pen until Greg Dobbs was well in the middle of his at bat.

Greg Dobbs ripped a 2-2 pitch into the right field corner and to add insult to pathetic baseball, the Marlins took a 3-2 lead on the Cubs’ Major League worst 78th error of the season. Quade left Marmol into to face one more batter and he walked Emilio Bonifacio to put runners on first and second with no outs.

Quade decided he’d finally seen enough and brought in Kerry Wood to try to keep it a 3-2 game. But Wood walked Omar Infante to reload the bases then gave up a sac fly to Gaby Sanchez and a RBI single to Hanley Ramirez … and just like that it was 5-2 Marlins. Florida tacked on another run off James Russell before Tony Campana threw out Hanley Ramirez at the plate to end the inning.

Cubs pitching threw 49 pitches in the top of the ninth.

Carlos Marmol was all over the place and has blown two of his last three save chances. Marmol leads the National League with seven blown saves. Marmol’s final line from Thursday night: five runs, one hit, four walks, no strikes in 0.0 innings pitched on 25 pitches, seven for strikes.

Thursday was Geovany Soto bobblehead night at Wrigley Field and Soto responded with a 4-for-4 night at the plate that included a double. Soto notched half of the Cubs hits on the night.

The Cubs scored three runs … one on a home run, one on a hit by pitch and one on a passed ball. Nope, no reason to make changes to the roster Jim Hendry assembled.

Matt Garza suffered his third no decision thanks to a blown save by Carlos Marmol. Garza threw seven shutout innings and surrendered six hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Garza worked out of two jams in the first five innings and a third on in the seventh. Garza retired eight in a row at one point and received two assists by the wind.

With Thursday’s loss, the Cubs picked up where they left off before the break. The Cubs are now a season-worst 19 games under .500 with a 37-56 record …

The second half began on a negative note for Matt Garza but he recovered and did not allow the Marlins to score.

Emilio Bonifacio extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an infield single to Carlos Pena. Bonifacio hit a weak grounder to Pena, Garza was late covering and Bonifacio beat Pena to the bag. Omar Infante followed with a bloop single into left … and the Marlins had runners on first and second with no outs.

Garza jammed Gaby Sanchez on a 0-1 pitch and the Marlins first baseman popped out to Pena. Hanley Ramirez launched Garza’s first pitch to deep left center. Byrd called off Soriano at the last minute and made the catch … the wind (blowing in Thursday night) kept the ball in the park. Garza struck out Logan Morrison to end the first.

For all of the work Garza seemed to do, he threw only 13 pitches in the first, nine for strikes.

Anibal Sanchez retired the Cubs in order in the bottom of the first.

Matt Garza threw strikes in the second inning and sat down the Fish in order in the top of the second.

Marlon Byrd gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead with a one-out homer in the bottom of the second. Byrd lined a 1-2 pitch into the first row of seats in left center. Byrd recorded the Cubs first hit of the night and gave his team a slim lead with one swing … Thursday’s longball was the fourth of the season and Byrd’s first since May 19 in Florida.

Alfonso Soriano struck out but Geovany Soto singled to center and kept the second going for Darwin Barney. Barney struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

Garza retired Sanchez and Bonifacio to start the third (eight in a row) but issued a one-out walk to Omar Infante. Garza struck out Sanchez swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the third.

The Cubs went quickly and quietly in the bottom of the third.

Garza jammed Hanley Ramirez on a 2-2 pitch and retired the Marlins’ shortstop on a blooper to Barney. Garza then issued a four-pitch walk to Logan Morrison and gave up a single to Mike Stanton. With runners on first and second with one out, Garza fell behind Mike Cameron before eventually walking him to load the bases with one out.

Mark Riggins made the slow walk and talked to Garza after he issued the walk to Cameron.

John Buck ripped Garza’s first pitch to Aramis Ramirez … around the horn 5-4-3 double play got Garza out of the jam and the Cubs maintained the slim one-run lead.

Anibal Sanchez stayed sharp and sat down the middle of the Cubs lineup in order in the bottom of the fourth.

Matt Garza retired Anibal Sanchez and Bonifacio to start the fifth before allowing another runner to reach with two outs. Infante singled to left but Gaby Sanchez flied out to right on a 3-1 pitch to end the inning.

Geovany Soto recorded his second hit of the game with one out in the fifth. Soto was the beneficiary of a misplayed ball by Mike Cameron in center and ended up at second with one out … but Barney struck out swinging and Garza grounded out to first to end the inning.

At the end of five, the Cubs had a 1-0 lead.

The Marlins went down in order in the top of the sixth … thanks to an excellent running catch in right center by Kosuke Fukudome. Fukudome and the wind took away an extra basehit from Mike Stanton to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing again against Anibal Sanchez in the bottom of the sixth.

Matt Garza pitched his way in and out of his third jam in the seventh. Garza retired the first two batters (Cameron and Buck) quickly to start the inning but gave up a bloop single to right to Anibal Sanchez. Bonifacio reached on a single off Pena’s glove. With runners on first and second with two outs, Garza jammed Infante on a 0-1 pitch and he hit a grounder to the hole at short. Starlin Castro made a strong throw to Pena that just beat Infante to end the inning.

The Cubs tacked on a run in the bottom of the seventh … but it should have been a lot more.

Carlos Pena worked the Cubs first walk to start the seventh. After Marlon Byrd hit a blooper to Infante in shallow right, Soriano singled to left on a 1-2 pitch. Jack McKeon went to his pen and brought in Steve Cishek.

While McKeon was making his pitching change, Quade sent Tony Campana in for Soriano to run at first. Geovany Soto recorded his third hit … a sharp single to left but Pena held at third to load the bases.

Darwin Barney was hit in the left shoulder on Cishek’s first pitch. Barney got an RBI and the Cubs took a 2-0 lead. Blake DeWitt was announced as the pinch hitter for Matt Garza … and McKeon went back to his pen again. McKeon brought in the left Randy Choate and Quade countered with Jeff Baker.

Baker was caught looking on a very low strike for the second out of the inning. Fukudome grounded out to first (one, unassisted) on a 2-1 pitch to end the inning.

At the end of seven … 2-0 Cubs.

Sean Marshall retired the Marlins in order in the top of the eighth.

Aramis Ramirez recorded a one-out single in the bottom of the eighth … and Jack McKeon used just about all of his bullpen but the Cubs could not tack on.

Carlos Marmol walked Mike Stanton and Mike Cameron to start the ninth … and was all over the place. Marmol then walked John Buck on four pitches to load the bases. Dewayne Wise ran for Buck with the would-be go ahead run.

McKeon sent Greg Dobbs up to hit for Edward Mujica. Dobbs ripped a 2-2 pitch into the right field corner. Stanton and Cameron scored easily to tie the game at two but Wise slipped rounding third and fell down. Barney threw to the plate, the ball got past Soto and Marmol was out of position. Wise ended up scoring the go ahead run on Barney’s throwing error. Dobbs stopped at second and Brett Hayes, the backup catcher, ended up running for Dobbs.

Marmol remained in the game and walked Bonifacio to end his night.

Kerry Wood came in with runners on first and second with no outs and walked Infante to load the bases … again. Gaby Sanchez hit a sac fly to left. Hayes scored … 4-2 Marlins.

Hanley Ramirez ripped a 1-0 pitch into right. Bonifacio scored … 5-2 Marlins and Quade went to his pen for James Russell.

Logan Morrison grounded out to first, both runners advanced and Russell intentionally walked Stanton to face Mike Cameron with the bases loaded.

Mike Cameron singled to left. Sanchez scored the Marlins sixth run but Campana threw out Hanley Ramirez at the plate to end the inning.

From a 2-0 lead to 6-2 deficit in 49 pitches …

The Cubs added a run in the ninth after Tony Campana reached on a bunt single to start the inning. Soto ripped a single down the left field line. Campana ended up at third and scored on a passed ball. With Soto at second, Barney grounded out to short. Soto advanced to third … but Reed Johnson and Fukudome struck out to end the game.

Pathetic, embarrassing baseball

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Ryan Dempster and Ricky Nolasco on Friday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon